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Apple CEO Cook kicks off developers conference

posted 11 Jun 2012, 14:32 by Mpelembe   [ updated 11 Jun 2012, 14:32 ]

Apple executives tout new applications and laptop product updates at the annual Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco.

Apple CEO Tim Cook, who took over from late co-founder Steve Jobs last August, spearheaded the unveiling of new products and services on Monday (June 11), including improved Siri software and revamped laptops.
Cook told the audience at the annual Worldwide Developers' Conference 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.

"This is a number that is so mind-boggling and was unthinkable not too long ago, and developers have been well rewarded for this," said Cook. "We've written checks for over 5 billion dollars to you guys."

Siri, the innovative voice-activated iPhone search-feature users have criticized as faulty and inadequate, now features beefed-up software and is available on iPads. It is also integrated into "Flyover," Apple's new mapping service, which will compete with Google's map service.

Apple also touted its hardware, which can be considered its biggest edge over Google. At 0.7 inches (1.778 centimeters), the new MacBook Pro -- Apple's highest-end laptop -- ranks among the thinnest laptops in the market and will hit store shelves months before many Microsoft Windows-equipped "Ultrabooks." In addition to faster processors, graphics, and memory, the MacBook Pro will now employ the "retina" displays that have won strong positive reviews for the new iPad. MacBook Pros will start at a price tag of $2,199 ($1419.99 GBP).

"Nobody turns over their entire line as quickly and as completely as we do at Apple," said marketing chief Phil Schiller.

Analysts have speculated that the company will begin aggressively competing on price, gradually shrinking the premium its Macs carry in general.

At the week-long annual Worldwide Developers' Conference, Apple developers rub shoulders with employees, test the latest products and software, and connect with peers.