Investors weren't expecting anything mindblowing from Apple Inc. (AAPL) and its newest iteration of the iPhone, the iPhone 7. That's good, because mind blowing it was not. The event was revealing in one way, though: it showed just how low Apple has set the bar for itself.
Leading up to Wednesday's event, the biggest grist for the rumor mill was the chatter that the iPhone 7 would be doing away with the headphone jack altogether. The Cupertino, California-based Apple was also rumored to be improving the phone's camera.
Both of those things happened.
Apple shares, which were off 1.4 percent in the last year, were almost entirely unchanged during the event.
That said, the iPhone still makes up well over 50 percent of AAPL's overall revenue, so all eyes were rightfully on the Wednesday presentation, as investors hoped for something groundbreaking.
CEO Tim Cook called the iPhone 7 "the best iPhone that we have ever created," which may be true, but doesn't say much, as technology has a way of improving over time.
Chief Design Officer Jony Ive waxed romantic about the aesthetic of the new iPhone, which is sleeker and smoother than any of its predecessors.
The company spent quite a lot of time outlining the phone's 10 signature features, none of which seemed to dazzle AAPL investors.
Design. The iPhone 7 boasts a new finish called "Jet Black." Black, Gold, Silver and Rose Gold are also available.
Home button. It's customizable now. Apple exec Phil Schiller compared it to the iPod, which was originally a click-wheel before becoming electrostatic. It's now "force-sensitive" and more responsive.
Water and dust resistant. This required "new seals and new adhesives ... the least coordinated among us don't have to worry," says Schiller, unveiling what some might think of as the most useful of the 10 highlighted phone features.
Camera. "Perhaps the most beloved feature." Features: Optical image stabilizer, wider lens that lets 50 percent more light in; 12 megapixel sensor; 60 percent faster and 30 percent more energy efficient. The image signal processor has twice the throughput -- it sets exposure, color with white balance, and performs 100 billion operations every time you take a picture. Seven megapixel front camera, up from 5 megapixels, for today's selfie-obsessed customers. Zoom features were also highlighted.
[See: The Perfect 10 Shares.]
Retina HD display. It's 25 percent brighter, wide color gamut, and 3D-Touch capable. Instagram was given as an example of an app that made use of these new features.
Speakers. Stereo speakers for the first time ever, one is at the bottom and one is at the top.
EarPods. EarPods will now be connected over Lightning instead of the headphone jack. Headphones will be included with iPhones. There will be a lightning-to-mini phono adapter included as well. Apple touted its own "courage" as the main reason for switching over to the new jack-less system.
Wireless. "Makes no sense to tether ourselves with cables to our mobile devices." A new product from Apple, Apple AirPods, were debuted. They only play when you're ready to listen, and recognize when you're speaking and reduce external noise. AirPods also connect to the Apple Watch, using the iCloud to set you up with all your Apple devices; no pairing or unpairing required.
Apple Pay. Controls over 90 percent of wireless payment market in the U.S., and Apple plans to expand and improve globally.
Performance. The A10 Fusion chip is a four-core CPUl; the chip is now 120 times faster than the original iPhone. The chip will prioritize processes for better battery life, performance, games and graphics.
All in all, for Apple, whose iconic CEO Steve Jobs was famous for fostering a "reality distortion field" that made seemingly impossible advances in technology the norm for Apple and its engineers, Wednesday's event was a sad state of affairs.
Case in hand: Before the iPhone 7 was revealed, Apple bragged about Pokemon Go coming to the Apple Watch. The fact that any time at all was devoted to this is a sad commentary on what passes for meaningful at Apple these days.
To give some idea of how devastatingly unexciting that is, imagine this: On one day in 2007, Steve Jobs announced the Apple TV, the iPhone, and that the company was dropping the "Computer" from Apple Computer entirely.
But hey, Pokemon Go is en vogue, right?
In addition to the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, Apple unveiled a few new Apple Watch models, including a partnership with Nike (NKE) that uses data and motivational techniques to get you up and exercising. The Apple Watch Series 2 and Apple Watch Nike Plus both start at $369, while the Apple Watch Series 1 starts at $269.
At the end of the day, AAPL stock didn't move much, despite all the grandiose statements about how great the iPhone 7 was and how unprecedented its features were. Many customers will likely not be happy with the move to the jack-less phone, meaning investors may need to possess some courage of their own if they want to hold Apple stock far into the future.
John Divine is a staff writer for U.S. News & World Report. He is also a longtime investor, and has previously written about investing and the markets for InvestorPlace and The Motley Fool. You can follow him on Twitter @divinebizkid or give him the Tip of the Century at email@example.com.