Tuesday, September 11, 2012

What next – for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) ?

In some hours from now all will be revealed. Days and months of speculation in print, wire, Internet and electronic media will end.

Finally the iPhone 5 - not just another new iPhone - will have been launched.

However the question that begs to be answered is what next? Incidentally this is a query that comes up only for companies like Apple Inc.(NASDAQ:AAPL) where a lot of expectations are built into its products.

Last year before the launch of the iPhone 4S a lot was expected - though the share prices did not see the phenomenal rise that it has seen in the past couple of months - but the disappoint was palpable when all Apple cold offer was an iPhone 4 with an assistant, who seemed clueless about many things and could answer questions only if they were put to her in an American drawl.

The iPad 3 earlier this year also proved to be a non-event, since there was nothing much substantially different between it and the earlier iPad 2.

The disappointments of the last two product launches have not been built into the current launch of the iPhone 5. There is a general feeling among investors and analysts that this time around the company has to come up with something more innovative than what it did the last couple of times.

It is time that it did it.

A lot of details about the new iPhone have already been leaked out, right down to designs and its larger screen size.

But the proof of the pudding is in the eating, as they say.

The features have to work.

Also for the stock to keep climbing Apple has to constantly hold the market and investors in thrall. Once the new iPhone is launched the interest will start to wane a little bit - only this time there is a new iPad Mini to look forward to.

Staggering the launch of its products - whether new or upgraded - seems a good idea from an investor point of view since it keeps the interest alive in the stock.

Next up - an Apple TV?

As Paula Mona says in CNN Money - The biggest challenge for Apple going forward is that it has to convince an increasingly sceptical Wall Street that it can come up not just with improved versions of already popular products but entirely new categories every few years or so.

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