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Apple looks to try to reinvigorate sales

Q2 proved a rarity.  Usually it was Apple, Inc. (AAPL) who left analysts moderately bullish forecasts looking like silly bears.  But in Q2 Apple saw the analysts scoring a win, as its sales fell short of expectations.

It hopes to right the ship with the iPhone 5, which according to numerous sources is rumored to be announced on Sept. 12.  An October or late September launch will likely follow.

Much is already known about the iPhone 5, Apple's sixth generation smartphone.  It will pack a bigger screen, an LTE modem, more DRAM, and a slightly faster processor.  But it offers much less improvements in the user interface department managing only baby steps with iOS 6.

As Google Inc. (GOOG) begins to roll out devices with the super-slick Android 4.1 "Jelly Bean" on board, it remains to be seen whether Apple's modest hardware upgrades and bare-bones software updates are enough to keep up. 

Sources: All Things D, iMore

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By name99 on 7/31/2012 11:36:55 PM , Rating: 2
"The next frontier for mobile phones is mobile payment and personal assistant."

I agree with your general sentiments, but I think you are wrong in these details.
Mobile payments (at least in the US) is such a goddamned nightmare I can't see it coming soon. (One idea that COULD kickstart things is for Apple --- or anyone else --- to bypass the banks, partner with the large mutual funds, and run the payments from a money market account, but no-one seems to be pursuing that idea.)

So what replaces mobile payments as the next big thing?
(a) Identity. This is the direction Passbook (ghastly name, I hope they change it before release) is headed. The more tickets --- and later other sorts of qualifications, credentials, notarized documents, maybe eventually the infamous virtual SIM --- Apple can get in there, the more convenient it is. No different from the way that it's a whole lot easier to get your car to control an iPhone than anything else.

(b) The smartwatch business. It's coming. And the winner there will be the company whose device does the best job of integrating with the rest of a user's compute environment. IMHO Apple has long had the best story for this transition.

The Google/Amazon story is too tightly insistent that you do everything in the cloud.
The Windows story is hobbled by incompetent execution and a bizarre OS philosophy that appears determined to piss off every possible market segment.
Apple, the company that supposedly insists on telling you what to do, more and more comes off as the company that in fact is offering the largest range of choices in terms of either in the cloud or local, and either using items from their store or otherwise acquired.
Windows is (and probably always will be) more HW open, but it's not clear that's worth anything outside the enterprise, if you can't create an OS that delights users.

So in summary
- Passbook has a far bigger future ahead of it than is apparent today. It will (probably) morph into mobile payment, but in a piecemeal way, and perhaps even in a way that varies across countries.
- Smart watches strike me as THE hot segment of 2013 (though maybe that's pushing the tech too hard, like early netbooks; maybe we need to wait till 2014 for the equivalent of the MacBook Air to show the world how it's done properly).

"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer

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