This Apple event may be the most important ever
Unlike in years past, there are multiple product rumors and stories swirling around the cult tech stock. Here are the top 5 to watch.
The world is on the edge of its seat again as we approach yet another landmark Apple (AAPL) launch. It's a little later than the previous summer splashes reserved for the latest iPhone -- the iPhone 5 -- but has just as much fanfare.
And for several reasons, the unveiling could be the most important event in the history of the iPhone since the first big reveal in 2007. One easily could argue that Apple has a lot more riding on this launch.
Here's what's at stake:
Can Cook match the magic of Jobs? With the departure of iconic executive and founder Steve Jobs, this is the first true test for new CEO Tim Cook. Yes, Jobs' health problems have persisted, and you can bet Cook knows Apple like the back of his hand by now. But Apple is part gadget maker and part cultural force. Don't think the gadgets will speak for themselves -- Tim Cook needs to step up and be the new public face of Apple. As the chart below shows, launches occasionally herald the beginning of a big run for Apple as new gadgets wow investors with red-hot sales. Will there be another run after this event, or a ho-hum reception as with the iPad 2 last spring?
Can Apple go low-price and protect its brand? There are rumors that the iPhone might go populist for the first time, with an entry-level model priced at $99. The so-called iPhone 4S would have the same appearance but lower-priced internal parts -- the biggest money-saver being just 8GB of onboard memory, if you believe the rumors. Will consumers who have held off on an iPhone sign up for a lower-priced model with less flash? If they do, it could be a huge windfall, as Apple exerts its dominance at both the high end and low end of the market. But if it flops, more than dismal sales are on the line. Apple has always prided itself on a fantastic user experience, and if consumers start to get the impression that cost is trumping quality, that's a dangerous development.
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Is the iPod dead? Perhaps the most interesting rumors are those surrounding the various iPod lines. Once a game-changer for Apple, the digital music player is now a mere 8% of Apple's total revenue. Is Apple going to try to reinvent it? Will it go low in price with a touch-screen device for $99 to replace its entry-level iPod Shuffle? Some people have even speculated that the iPod will be killed altogether, since every other Apple device can do what an iPod does -- and more. Will Cook even mention the gadget? The iPod either needs a significant refresh or it needs to be phased out.
Will Apple tell all? Will Apple stick to the low-priced iPhone that has been rumored to launch? Will it focus just on the iPhone 5? Will it do both, with maybe a little bit of iPad 3 hype thrown in for good measure? Apple always closely manages its product release cycle, but this year has been especially challenging with the Verizon (VZ) iPhone to start the year, the iPad 2 in spring, a revamped iMac line, a new Mac OS and a handful of other developments. Despite all these other products, 50% of Apple revenue is derived from iPhone sales, so what the company does Tuesday could be more important than all of those other launches and upgrades combined.
Jeff Reeves is editor of InvestorPlace.com. As of this writing, he did not own a position in any of the aforementioned stocks. Follow him on Twitter via @JeffReevesIP and become a fan of InvestorPlace on Facebook.
I dont know if its more amusing or disturbing. Reading this and other financial boards on MSN, you'd think that the I-phone was the center of the universe. From sites talking about how many people want to trade in their 'old' I-4 phones for a new I-5 and then right after it reading how much people are struggling to make ends meet day to day. It's all either media hype or there truely are alot of people wearing rose colored blinders to frenzy over a phone when its just that...a phone. People want to come on her and complain about gas prices (yes speculators are drivng up the prices plus taxes) when in actuality we've never paid the true 'costs' of gas...thats another long story not about a phone. So when people complain about $4.00 gas but wait in a line for days or want to trade in perfectly working phones for a phone with a few extra tweeks that really are just new ways of swindling money out of you like the lack of ATM and online access to BoA that force you to go from using your free services and having to go into a branch and then get charged the monthly fee for seeing a real live person(CEO's bonus checks must be a little low this 1/4) then it really shows where your priorities are and why the USA is in such trouble. When you spend more every month on gadgets and sites to keep you 'connected' its no wonder nothing getting done in the real world.
Need to get your heads out fo the sand people and look at what really matters...getting people back to work and righting the insanity ship called the U.S.A so that YOU the people run the show and not HE who has more to bribe their way in the front door and own your country from under you.
So before running out to grab your shiney new I-5,pick up that stack of unpaid bills and then stand in front of a mirror and point your finger at the one who created them bills...now hopefully you slap some sense into the 1 you see in the mirror and pay off 1 of them bills instead of an overpriced piece of asian garbage that you'll want to upgrade from once the next latest and greates thing comes along.
Electric car fan you may make a valid point, but your spelling just makes you look stupid. Proofread brother and people might take you a lot more seriously.
Then again...I guess judging other people on what they spend their money on is the American way.
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All hail the bull market, which ended the week with a big rally. But it also is starting to look a little like 1987, which suffered an epic blow-out.
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