Apple CEO Tim Cook announces the new Mac Pro, which will start at $6,000, at WWDC 2019.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images
By Aaron Pressman and Adam Lashinsky
June 4, 2019

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There have been years when Apple used the keynote presentation at its annual developers conference to launch major new products or otherwise tailor its message to a general, consumer audience. This was not one of those years. Apple’s annual event more and more resembles Google I/O, an appropriately informative session for partners who develop software for the giant company’s platform.

It’s an odd feeling when a crowd of thousands cheers and pulsates at the introduction of a $6,000 computer. Apple’s devoted partners applauded that and more at a convention center in San Jose, Calif., Monday morning. Apple opened the event with a black-and-white video of weary knowledge workers toiling late into the night. It ended with the inspiring message: “While the world sleeps, you dream.”

Always on message, Apple executives proceeded to talk about their many incremental changes to their TV, iPhone, Watch, iPad, and Mac software lines—and little else. Some thoughts:

* Much will be made about the most consumerish of Apple’s announcements, the elimination of iTunes on the Mac. But likely the most significant series of changes were to the iPad. Little by little, Apple is making the iPad less distinguishable from a laptop. That’s a good thing if Apple wants to sell more iPads.

* Apple continues its aggressive ways on privacy, from anonymized email addresses to allowing app users to sign into third-party accounts through Apple. The implication is that Apple is more trustworthy than Google or Facebook. Many users would agree.

* Apple Watch is increasingly becoming a standalone device, with its own App Store and more of its own apps. That “failure” of a product is looking stronger all the time.

Apple ignored so much more on Monday: specifics about the launch of its Apple TV+ streaming service, any sort of update on uptake of its enhanced Apple News+ offering, its thoughts on swirling rumors that Washington is scrutinizing Apple for antitrust violations, and word on how the U.S.-China trade spat will affect Apple.

After all, this is an event for developers.

Adam Lashinsky


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