Apple unveils hardware plans at developers’ conference

Christmas in June.

Apple CEO Tim Cook kicked off the company’s annual conference for software developers Monday afternoon. In recent years, Apple has used its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) as an opportunity to announce new software for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

Here are some of the highlights that came out of the show:

  1. Cook announced that customers have downloaded more than 30 billion Apple apps so far, choosing from more than 650,000 apps, the largest library in the industry;
  2. Marketing Chief Phil Schiller outlined how the redesigned MacBook Air notebooks will be about $100 cheaper on average than predecessors, but sport quicker Intel (INTC)  processors;
  3. A next-generation MacBook Pro model was unveiled that is less than an inch thick  while closed — about as thin as the MacBook Air. It will have a retina display, akin to what the iPhone and the iPad now have;
  4. A new operating system, OS X 10.8 “Mountain Lion” for Apple’s Mac computers that promises better integration with social networks and iCloud will ship in the fall;
  5. Finally, Apple said the new software for mobile devices, iOS 6, will sport  more than 200  new features. That includes enhancements to Siri, a partnership with  Yelp (YELP) so that Siri can include ratings and prices of restaurants and integration with  OpenTable (OPEN) to make reservations from the same screen. Also, a new maps application built from ground up by Apple will take on Google (GOOG) Maps.

Going into the conference there was lots of speculation that Apple could announce plans for a new television, but no word of this much to the dismay of the audience, also no word on when the next iPhone will be out.

Apple (AAPL : NASDAQ : US$571.17), Net Change: -9.15, % Change: -1.58%, Volume: 20,939,258

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