Apple (AAPL)  kicked off its World Wide Developers Conference on Monday with a wide range of software and hardware announcements. 

Updates for the tech giant included: new AR, VR and AI developer tools; a new smart home speaker called HomePod; iOS 11 watchOS 4; Apple Pay for peer-to-peer payments; a new macOS; new iMacs and MacBook Pros; a new 10.5-inch iPad Pro; Amazon Prime Video for Apple TV and a redesigned App Store.  

The general consensus from analysts is that the two biggest announcements were the AR development tool and the HomePod. 

Loup Ventures thinks the announcements in AR laid the groundwork for a new AR-enhanced iPhone 8, due out this fall. "The next iPhone continues to look like it will be the most important update to the device since iPhone 6," Loup Ventures founder Gene Munster wrote. 

Apple's stock didn't react strongly to the news, falling 1% on Monday and up slightly to $154.38 in early morning trading on Tuesday. However, the stock has been on a run already this year, trading up over 33%. 

Here's what analysts thought about Monday's announcements and what they mean for Apple: 

Overall Impressions

Drexel Hamilton, Brian White (Buy, $202 price target) 

"The keynote was packed with a plethora of software and hardware announcements we believe further expand the depth and breadth of 'Planet Apple.' In our view, Apple's quarterly results will be less important this summer as investors are focused on the iPhone 8 this fall, along with the company's raised capital distribution initiative, depressed valuation and new innovations as showcased at WWDC this week. We believe Apple remains among the most under-appreciated stocks in the world."

Nomura, Jeffrey Kvaal (Buy, $165 price target) 

"Apple's WWDC updates offered expected hardware and software iterations like iOS 11, hints of progress on next generation technologies like AI, and a rival to Amazon's Echo that is, well, louder. The news illustrates why Apple's customer satisfaction is at 96%, which is a key part of the bullish thesis around the iPhone 8 launch in September."

Misuho Seurites, Abhey Lamba and Vijay Rakesh (Buy, $160 price target)

"We believe announcements from the event were largely in-line with expectations. We continue to believe the upcoming iPhone cycle is likely to be significant, which could keep offering support to the stock price."

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Apple announced an Amazon Echo competitor called the 'HomePod' at WWDC on Monday.
Apple announced an Amazon Echo competitor called the 'HomePod' at WWDC on Monday.

The new HomePod

Loup Ventures, Gene Munster

"Natural language will be a key user interface in the future of computing and Apple is playing catchup today with HomePod. Based on the product demo at WWDC, HomePod clearly offers a premium audio experience. The company is differentiating the device from other home assistants by focusing on music, but make no mistake: Siri is the killer app on HomePod. Apple fully understands the importance of Siri for HomePod and we expect updates to Siri when HomePod ships in December. We expect Apple to gradually open Siri up to developers and create an Alexa Skills-like offering for voice based apps. Today, developers are only able to integrate Siri skills if their apps fall within nine app domains (ride booking, restaurant reservations, etc.), but that won't cut it in the future."

Drexel Hamilton, Brian White (Buy, $202 price target)

"In our view, the star of WWDC was HomePod that the company believes will "reinvent home music" and we believe will be a "go to" gift this holiday season. The HomePod will be available this December (U.S., U.K. and Australia) and just in time for the holidays at a price of $349."

BMO Capital Markets, Tim Long (outperform, $170 price target)

"Following on the highly successful AirPods, Apple continues to build on voice-based user interfaces, though its HomePod speaker has a heavier focus on music quality and is priced at a premium to Google and Amazon devices. We expect it to be a popular product upon its release in December, though Apple must continue to improve Siri to avoid potential user frustration with a voicebased interface. . . We believe Siri will need meaningful improvement to avoid user frustration, though some of the music-centric commands demonstrated at the event show a step in the right direction."

Misuho Seurites, Abhey Lamba and Vijay Rakesh (buy, $160 price target)

"More notably, Apple announced HomePod, a wireless music speaker for home applications. In addition to wireless streaming (via Apple Music), HomePod includes Siri capabilities for weather, news, traffic apps (among others) as well as 'smart' home functionality. . . . The HomePod with 'hello Siri' command line was more spatially aware of the room so that proximity to the home assistant is less of an issue compared to its peers. The Voice Assistant market, according to Statista, was ~16M units in 2016 with the Amazon Echo dominating at 70% share and Google following at 23% (LinkVA), and expected to grow 120%+ in 2017E."

Apple going head-to-head against @facebook @Snapchat @Microsoft with #ARKit and QR Codes. Let the cameraOS war begin! #ar #vr #WWDC17 #wwdc pic.twitter.com/P9AA7aVRg3

— Ric Ferrer (@ricferrer) June 5, 2017

Apple's AR Efforts

Loup Ventures, Gene Munster

"ARKit is the single most important announcement from today's keynote, enhancing iOS 11 devices for augmented reality. ARKit instantly creates a multi-100m user base for AR developers over night, which compares to Google's Tango platform which we believe has well under 10 million users. We believe AR will be the core technology that eventually replaces the smartphone. Today's announcement lays the groundwork for Apple to succeed in that future as ARKit represents the first tangible commitment from Apple to establish itself as the leader in the race to build a dominant AR-driven OS. The company will build AR-enhanced iPhones that include depth cameras and other additional hardware in the future, but they will also bring along the existing iOS device base to bring AR to all sooner than later."

BMO Capital Markets, Tim Long (outperform, $170 price target)

"We particularly liked the augmented reality game demos, which will create an easy entry point for iPad owners without the barrier of purchasing an additional device. The individual components may be a sign of further Apple investment in the space to come."

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