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The iPhone 4S/5 is rumored to launch October 4 (image of supposedly leaked screen design).  (Source: PC World)
Fans eagerly await what "magic" their favorite Cupertino, Calif. company will deliver

No Steve Jobs as CEO?  No problem.  

Apple, Inc. (
AAPL) is, according to All Things Digital, preparing to hold an exclusive event on October 4, 2011 to launch the fifth generation iPhone and the final build of iOS 5.  New chief executive Tim Cook is expected to announce the product.

Given Mr. Cook's shy public demeanor, he's expected to recruit plenty of other Apple executives to play supporting roles at the event, including SVP of Marketing Phil Schiller, iOS SVP Scott Forstall, and Internet Software and Services SVP Eddy Cue.  The products themselves are likely to almost take a second-stage show to how Mr. Schiller handles the responsibility of becoming the Apple ringleader.  How he handles that responsibility should serve as a key driver of investor confidence. With stock 
sitting at record highs, it's anyone's guess where it heads next, but it's likely to move after the event.

The name of the upcoming phone is still the topic of much debate.  Some claim that since the hardware update will be more minor, it will be dubbed the "iPhone 4S".  Others claim that it will be named the iPhone 5, in honor of it being the fifth generation model.

As for the product itself, Apple's new iPhone is 
expected to pack a faster processor, possibly an HSPA+ modem, and a larger screen.  The iPhone is also rumored to land on Sprint Nextel Corp.'s (S) U.S. network, possibly with a WiMAX 4G chip.

Even after being on the market for over a year, the iPhone 4 still 
managed to top sales charts at AT&T Inc. (T) and Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) for every month in calendar Q3 2011.  The iPhone 4 still leads almost all Android phones in screen resolution (960x640 pixels) and in apps (Apple has around 425,000 in the App Store, Google Inc.'s (GOOG) Android Market has around 250,000).  

Aside from the screen, the iPhone 4's hardware lags behind the plethora of high-end Android smartphones in other aspects and its OS still lacks the customization/personalization opportunities of Android (without jailbreaking).

The release may be critical for Apple's long-term prospects.  After all, in the 1980s the Apple II handily outsold the host of IBM compatibles on a single-model basis.  However, its eroding market share from an operating system perspective led developers to abandon it for Microsoft Corp.'s (
MSFT) young MS-DOS platform, and later Windows.  Apple almost went bankrupt in the process.

With Android currently outselling the iPhone 
by a 5-to-2 margin globally and growing market share faster, Apple faces a similar danger today in the smartphone market in the long term.  It has seen some success in its lawsuit campaign [1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8] from banning successful competitors' sales, via claims of patent infringement.  And it runs the risk of seeing its own products banned in some regions.

Thus the iPhone 5 launch event won't necessarily be critical to Apple's near-term sales, which will almost certainly be "record-setting" and spectacular.  What it will be critical to is investors' perception of the company's new CEO and to the company's long-term sales.



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RE: Here we go again
By Tony Swash on 9/21/2011 7:09:58 PM , Rating: 0
Who is outselling who depends on what you comparing, and the significance of who is outselling who depends on the validity of rationale for the comparison. Generally a comparison of one thing outselling another thing is only meaningful if the two things are somehow comparable. I could say I outsold IBM last year in the number of organic apples grown in my back yard but it wouldn't mean much would it?

So what is being compared here?

We could reasonable compare the comparative number of smart phone handsets sold or phone models sold or mobile operating systems sold, and such comparisons would have some worth. What doesn't make sense is to compare, say a phone model such as the Droid Bionic by Motorola to an operating system such as WP7, or the iPhone handset to an operating system such as Android. If you do that you can chalk up a spurious and meaningless 'victory' to one or the other but so what?

In reality meaningful metrics produce the following:

a) The single most popular handset in the world: iPhone 4

b) The company that shipped globally the largest number of smart phones in the most recent quarter: Apple

c) The mobile operating system with the largest number of users: iOS

One could also chuck in just for good measure

d) the company making the most profits by rate or by absolute volume in the entire global phone business: Apple

We need to remember why market share might matter. It might matter if it affects the profitability or viability of a company. Apple is hugely profitable and its profitability has grown in rate and scale since the rise of Android so Android is not impacting Apple much there. Market share might matter if it affects the viability or health of a particular platforms developer community, fewer developers, fewer app, probably not a good thing. But market share only impacts the viability of a developer community via it's economic impact, and even as Android has caught up to iOS in terms of number of apps it still lags way behind in the income that apps generate for developers. The big bucks remain with iOS and developer income does not seem to vary in direct proportion to market share in the mobile world. Finally market share might matter if it affects consumers preference and purchase decisions. Here we have a situation where on the one hand Apple and the iPhone brand have enormous weight and presence in the market and amongst consumers and on the other hand we have a sort of non-brand where many consumers have no idea they are buying Android and where the Android brand has little pulling power (sorry techies - it does with you but not with the buying public).

When Steve Jobs came back to Apple one of the first things he said was 'Microsoft does not have to lose for Apple to win'. Since then he has shown that Apple can become a successful, richly profitable, healthy and growing PC business in a Windows world. The same is true in the world of handsets. iPhone will remain the world's best selling handset for the foreseeable future and Apple will remain the world's most profitable handset maker for the foreseeable future. And Android and it's market share is all but irrelevant to that.


RE: Here we go again
By Reclaimer77 on 9/21/2011 7:20:46 PM , Rating: 2
Only you could make closed source and a lack of variety appear to be a good thing.


RE: Here we go again
By Tony Swash on 9/21/11, Rating: -1
"A lot of people pay zero for the cellphone ... That's what it's worth." -- Apple Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook














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