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As Apple WWDC begins, competition edges ever closer

Pras Subramanian

With Apple’s (AAPL) WWDC coming up next week, tech geeks and investors alike will be looking for what the boys in Cupertino have in store. Expectations are high, even for what ostensibly is a developer’s conference, for new product offerings and services

Apple’s stock has been on a tear recently, and its all about expectations. The question is have investors taken this too far in recent weeks. It wasn't that long ago that Apple had the market cornered on "cool tech" -- but competitors like Google (GOOGL), Microsoft (MSFT) and even Amazon (AMZN) have taken some serious market share in product categories like mobile, tablets, and streaming devices.

“You just saw them do the Beats acquisition, and I think that was partly a recognition that itunes and their whole music offering had become kind of stale,” Yahoo Finance tech reporter Aaron Pressman says in the attached video. “Itunes radio wasn’t going anywhere, and there a lot of more cool products like Spotify and Beats.”

Apple’s competitors would like to wear the crown of king of cool, but thus far this we’ve seen mostly pie in the sky stuff.

“Conveniently, there seems to be a lot of leaks from Google and all the others related to home automation and fitness technology,” Pressman says. Microsoft is seems to be in the same boat. “Forbes had a story that Microsoft leaked a fitness band on your hand that’s going to monitor your heartbeat and have cool technology from the kinect from Xbox.”

While Google and Microsoft seem to be focused on the same areas as Apple, Amazon’s a bit more focused on what it does well. Jeff Bezos’ behemoth “is focusing around their Prime offering and software and digital stuff, that’s really their strength,” Pressman notes. “The kindle is all about digital books, so now their talking about maybe having a streaming music service - gee, where’d they get that idea?”

Ultimately, Pressman says all the leaks and concept products mean nothing unless you can deliver the goods. “I don’t know whether it’s so cool and smart for Google and Microsoft and Amazon to be leaking these half-baked things,” he concludes, “when Apple will eventually be releasing finished products that are ready for sale.”

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