Apple opened its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) on Monday, June 11 with a highly-anticipated keynote from company CEO Tim Cook. Each year, this presentation serves as a platform for Apple to announce its newest products in both hardware and software. The majority of Apple’s significant products have been introduced at this event in past years including iTunes in 2003, the App Store in 2008, and the iPhone 4 in 2010. This year’s keynote was no different.

Key additions and updates for Apple in 2012 include:

  • App Store Growth
    • There are 400m accounts on record with credit cards, the largest number on file anywhere in the world
    • 650,000 apps in the store, 225,000 made for iPad
    • 30 billion total downloads from the App Store to date
  • New Hardware
    • New versions of the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air are available to ship today
    • Improvements include updated processors, increased memory, and lower prices
    • A new laptop- the ‘New MacBook Pro’ -includes the technical improvements included in the Pro and Air, as well as two key differentiators:
      • Only .71 inches thick, and the highest resolution notebook display in the world
  • Desktop Operating System
    • OS X, called Mountain Lion, is the new desktop operating system for personal Macs
    • Key features include iCloud integration (syncs apps and content across devices), new apps for organization across devices (including messages, reminders, and notes), and dictation support (users can dictate text to appear across all apps).
  • Mobile Operating System
    • 365 million devices with Apple’s previous mobile operating system, iOS 5, have been sold through March 302012
    • The new operating system, iOS 6, has more than 200 new features including:
      • Additions to Siri: Including restaurant support via Yelp and OpenTable, movie support through RottenTomatoes, additional languages, and “Eyes Free” car support featuring a Siri button in vehicles by GM, Mercedes, Honda, BMW, and more over the next 12 months
      • Facebook Integration: Facebook information can sync with other apps, such as Facebook event information appearing in the iOS calendar
      • Passbook: A new app which will collect and store a person’s cards and boarding passes in one place; includes integration with brands such as Target, Fandango, Starbucks, United, and Amtrak at launch
      • Maps: Apple removed Google Maps from its platform, replacing it with an in-house mapping application simply titled Maps; includes location information, turn-by-turn navigation, traffic information, and other tools users have come to expect from Google Maps

Apple is a key thought leader and innovator in the technology space, and advertisers would be wise to take note of their developments. Most relevant for 2012 may be the growth of apps and integration of Facebook. As Apple devices continue to reach more users, apps become an increasingly relevant way to reach customers. What do you think was the most significant update from the presentation? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.