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3D Maps, Siri Makeover: Apple’s Two-Pronged Play Toward Global Domination

Aaron Task
Editor in Chief
Daily Ticker

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Day one of Apple's (AAPL) Worldwide Developer's Conference ended not with a bang, but with a wishful audience hoping for "one more thing."

On the surface, the big news from the WWDC was not what was announced, but what wasn't announced. As was widely expected the tech giant released no news about Apple TV or the iPhone 5, disappointing Apple fans around the globe.

[Related: Is The iPhone 5 Waiting for?]

However, Apple did announce a series of initiatives and new products. These include an upgrade to its line of Mac laptops — featuring a $2100 MacBook Pro which Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller calls the "most beautiful computer we've ever made" — as well as new versions of its operating system (Mountain Lion) and iOS, as well as 3D maps and new plans for its controversial voice-activation feature, Siri.

In the accompanying video, Becky Worley, host of 'Upgrade Your Life' on Yahoo! News, and I discuss the WWDC and what today's announcements mean for the future of Apple.

Her takeaway: Lost amid the hype and analysis over the myriad new products are hints at Apple's long-term strategy — and plans for global domination.

Apple's announcement that it will launch Siri in a variety of other languages, including Spanish, Italian, French, German, Korean, Mandarin and Cantonese, is a big strategic move, Worley says.

"Mobile has one fundamental limitation: The screen is small so entering data is laborious," she says. "It's fundamentally a bottleneck. The company that wins at input ...wins mobile, in my opinion."

While skeptical the technology can "go as fast as they want it to," Worley says Apple is clearly making a big bet on its voice-recognition technology. Today the company announced plans to integrate iOS6 with Yelp (YELP) and OpenTable (OPEN) for restaurant and food recommendations and Yahoo! Sports (YHOO) for sports scores. Plus, Apple is working with automakers to develop Siri directly into steering wheels.

Furthermore, Apple's announcement of new 3D mapping, which will replace Google (GOOG) Maps on Apple devices, is another big strategic play.

"Maps are the gateway drug for location-based advertising," Worley says. "So whoever's map you're using, that's whose ads you're getting. That's why this is such a big deal for Apple and they're making a mega-play, capital outlay of a lot of bucks to make this kind of mapping a reality."

Tell us what you think! What would you say are the biggest hits and misses from today's WWDC?

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