Leave it to Apple (AAPL) to misdirect, either intentionally or by happenstance, the collective focus of the market. After their Worldwide Developer's Conference appearance on Monday, the collective focus fell on a vast number of companies, but the ones with the most pressing concerns (looking at you PC and smartphone competitors) were largely ignored.
Here's the sideshow material: Apple is in a snit with Google (GOOG) so it cozied up to Tom Tom, to the detriment of Garmin (GRMN). And in other news, Siri may make her way into every General Motors (GM), Toyota (TM) and Honda (HMC) car on the road. This sets up a compelling standoff with Ford (F), who appears to be refusing Siri and going its own route.
Granted: all this new material might make a bottom-line difference eons from now, but in all the entertaining talk about Apple's new partners and enemies, here's what you can't forget amid all the car and mapping noise:
Microsoft (MSFT) must do well with their Windows 8 unveiling. Dell (DELL) and Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), living, breathing corporate anachronisms, have to hope against hope that they can reinvent themselves on the fly. And God help Research In Motion (RIMM) and Nokia (NOK).
It's going to be that much harder for all these competitors that are fighting for today, not tomorrow. Apple gave no indication that they were slowing, failing to evolve or ignoring opportunities to entwine themselves further into the lives of gadget users.
You want a mapping App? The fate of personal computer and smartphone makers is your final destination. The other initiatives and budding rivalries are merely roadside attractions you'll stop at along the way. As Apple sells new wares, don't confuse the two.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.