What’s happening: Apple Inc. hosted its annual WWDC (Worldwide Developers Conference) on Monday, making several announcements and launching product updates.
What happened: The much-anticipated annual event, which is usually hosted in a massive conference hall packed with developers and people from the press, was held this year in a virtual-only mode for the first time due to the pandemic.
During the event, Apple bid farewell to a 15-year partnership with Intel and announced the transition to its own chips. The event also saw CEO Tim Cook and other executives from the company streaming several product announcements, minus the usual cheers from the audience.
Why it matters: Apple’s shares gained 2.6% in regular trading on Monday after the company confirmed that it would no longer use Intel chips to power its devices. Investors responded to the official announcement, although this was widely expected with reports of a switch doing the rounds for months.
The tech giant claimed that the transition to Apple Silicon will give greater control over how it builds its products and improve performance. The move will ensure a common architecture across all Apple products, enabling app developers to create and optimise their apps for the entire ecosystem.
“With its powerful features and industry-leading performance, Apple Silicon will make the Mac stronger and more capable than ever. I've never been more excited about the future of the Mac,” CEO Tim Cook said at the event.
Apple plans to ship the first Mac with its own chip by the end of this year and is hoping to complete the transition within the next couple of years. The company reassured customers that it intends to continue supporting and releasing new versions of the macOS for its Intel-based Macs.
Management also announced an upgrade to iOS 14, which will now feature the new App Library allowing users to organise applications in folders. The company has also redesigned its home screen and announced a new design for Siri.
Apple also launched some new features to iPadOS 14, watchOS 7 and AirPods. The company announced a new software update for Apple TV and a marketplace for Safari as part of the Mac App Store.
After climbing during the regular session, Apple’s stock gained another 0.9% in after-hours trading. Apple’s shares supported the Nasdaq 100 to hit a new record high on Monday. The tech-laden index rose by 1.1% to end the day at 10,056.47. The S&P 500 gained 0.65% to 3,117.86, while the Dow Jones index rose 0.59% to reach 26,024.96 in high volume indices trading.
What to watch: Investors were a tad disappointed with Apple not announcing any new hardware at the WWDC. Bulls consider this a good move, considering the pandemic this year and the need to conserve liquidity. Apple is expected to make hardware-related announcements in the fall, which could attract more interest from investors. The market will also look out for Apple’s plans to reopen stores that have recently been closed with rising cases in the US.