The Center of Apple's UniverseS

Worldwide Developers Conference 2010 makes it more clear than ever what Apple's real priorities are: iPhone and iPad. Mac OS X is an also ran.

In fact, you'd be forgiven for thinking that Apple only makes the iPhone and iPad—Mac OS X is barely mentioned, and almost in passing. Its most conspicuous absence, and most potent signal to developers that Apple believes the real place for innovation is the iPhone, is the fact that the Apple Design Awards are only for iPhone OS apps this year. Mac OS X applications simply don't matter enough anymore, apparently.

This was all kind of an inevitable trajectory. The iPad and the information appliance is the future of computing according to Apple, not the Mac, which still uses the same dated desktop metaphor as the original Macintosh over 20 years ago. Since its 1997 revival, Apple's always been aggressive about leaving behind legacy technologies—why would it be any different here?

Apple might bring back OS X Apple Design Awards next year, and we might see more OS X action at WWDC. I kind of doubt it'll go back to being even close to the way it was. (It seems pretty clear, at least, that there won't be even a peek at OS 10.7 this year.) But make no mistake about the significance here: OS X's absence in Apple's app universe this year at WWDC speaks volumes. [WWDC]