©IDG Communications, Inc. Photo contributed by Matthew Mikaelian.
SAN FRANCISCO — In a presentation heavy on upgrades to software and its laptops, Apple Inc. on Monday showed off new mapping functions and more integration with Facebook for iPhones and iPads. The announcements at the annual Worldwide Developers Conference were in line with most analysts’ expectations. Apple shares closed trading down about 1.6% to $571.17 on Monday. Despite the drop on Monday, Apple (AAPL, US) shares are still up more than 40% year to date.
Chief Executive Tim Cook took the stage to deliver the keynote address — which came one year after the late Steve Jobs headlined the same event, in what would be is final public appearance before dying of cancer four months later. On Monday, most of the company’s focus was on the software platforms that power its Mac computers as well as its popular iPhone and iPad devices. Apple plans to release iOS 6, the next version of its mobile operating system, sometime this fall, though no specific release date was given.
The main event of interest at the conference was the newest version of iOS, the operating system that powers the iPhone and iPad. Apple gave a preview several new features, including tighter integration with Facebook Inc. (FB, US) and a new mapping tool that will include turn-by-turn navigation. Previous iOS versions have used a mapping developed by Google Inc. (GOOG, US).
Nothing was said at the event of the next version of the iPhone, which most analysts expect to also launch sometime in early fall. That a new iPhone wasn’t shown off wasn’t a concern for Francisco Jeronimo, a mobile-device analyst with IDC. Jernonimo said that compared with Apple, its competitors “haven’t understood the importance of focusing on users capabilities rather than phone capabilities.”
“Apple already understood that applications or features per se are not enough to drive stickiness and loyalty,” Jeronimo said. “Apple is focused on providing the right experience to users that makes their lives easier.”