APPLE WWDC: Mixed-Reality Headset, Sonoma, and Much More

APPLE WWDC: Mixed-Reality Headset, Sonoma, and Much More

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Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference was a classic example of buy the hype, sell the news. For those who haven’t heard of this all-too-common phenomenon, it essentially means that when a company is planning to announce something, most investors and traders front-run the announcement — they get in early. The media circus and stock run-up is usually enough to price-in whatever will come from the event. That is, unless the company announces something incredible like Nvidia’s earnings report.

So, as the saying goes, Apple traders “bought the hype” — sending the stock to all-time highs, and then sold the news, incurring a steep sell-off that dragged down even the S&P 500 and Nasdaq directly following the headset announcement. It wasn’t that the news was “bad” — it just wasn’t news anymore. Consider this trading strategy the next time a major, “obviously bullish/bearish” event is telegraphed in advance.

Still, we received plenty of news about Apple’s highly anticipated foray into virtual reality — a luxury “mixed-reality” headset that will debut in 2024. The headset will retail at a steep $3,499 — compared to $299 for the Meta Quest 2 and $499 for the upcoming Quest 3. The “mixed-reality” feature will allow the user to toggle between full virtual reality experiences and HUDs that overlay and augment the world around you. It’s an interesting concept — that this could theoretically improve everyday life if worn throughout the day. However, stylistically, the Vision Pro has received criticism on social media for looking like a pair of ski goggles.

While the headset may appear see-through, during mixed-reality mode, you won’t be “seeing through” the headset at all — instead, you’ll be seeing the camera-feed from the other side. The headset doesn’t require controllers either — unlike its Quest counterpart. The headset is entirely controlled with gestures. Hands, eyes, and your voice. Apple announced that it will work with Unity to help develop games and software for the release — sending shares of the game developer higher by as much as 26% intraday. The Vision Pro sounds really interesting, but we’ll leave it up to you whether it’s worth the hefty price tag.

We also received several other announcements from the largest company in the world. Here those are in quick bullets:

  • New 15” Macbook Air: The Air has only ever come in a 13” size. Now, for $1,299, you can buy the 15” Macbook Air, armed with Apple’s M2 processor.
  • Faster chips: Apple touted the speed of the M2 as “dramatically faster” than the fastest competing Intel chip. This mention sent shares of Intel plunging by -4.63%. Between competition from AMD, Nvidia, and now Apple, Intel is under serious pressure.
  • New Mac Pro: The new Mac Pro will retail at $6,999 — another pricey addition to Mac’s lineup, and will feature the same high-powered chips named above.
  • Mac Studio: The new mac studio workstation will retail at $1,999, and will include the M2 Ultra — essentially just 2 M2’s attached at the hip.
  • MacOS Sonoma: The newest MacOS adds new widgets that interconnect your experience between the iPhone and Desktop, new video conferencing features, and adds additional partnerships with Zoom. Zoom shares popped as a result of the mention.
  • Video VM: Facetime callers will be able to leave video voice-mail messages
  • Real-Time VM: Standard phone voice-mails will occur in real-time, meaning you could pick up during the voice-mail.
  • Standby Mode, for when you aren’t directly using your phone, is another new feature. Standby mode augments the phone into a sort of smart home display, featuring calendars & scheduling, weather, and more.
  • A dash of AI: Apple will use a similar feature to ChatGPT to assist with improvements to auto-correct. The same will occur with voice dictation.
  • New Watch Apps: Updates to the WatchOS include additional focus on mood, allowing you to select options on how you’re feeling within the app, set time for “mindful minutes,” and even help you determine whether you need real world support if you’re feeling particularly unhealthy.
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