A look at Apple's finances suggests
the company that revolutionised the music, computer, smart phone
and tablet industries is thriving. Its more than $40 billion in
profits for fiscal 2012 were more than any non-oil company has
But for Apple, it is a case of "what have you done for me lately",
or more to the point, what are you going to do for me in the
Last week, skittish investors sent the stock down more than 12
percent, the lowest performance in years, after Apple's quarterly
revenue came in below estimates.
There is also concern on Wall Street that Apple lacks the
innovation necessary to pull the next big thing out of its hat of
industry altering ideas.
Analysts have said in a way, Apple has fallen victim to its own
Since the release of the iPod in 2001, the tech giant has been at
the forefront of innovation, dominating each industry it attacks
with a product that changed the way the business works.
"The stock today is trading at a level that looks like a massive
revenue miss, and like there won't be any new product productions
in 2013," said Trip Chowrdy, analyst and managing director at
Global Equity Research a California-based firm that examines stock
Chowrdy, who has closely followed Apple for nearly two decades,
said contrary to the stock's recent performance, his research
shows 2013 will be a year of significant Apple innovation.
Chowrdy said his firm has obtained information that shows Apple is
planning to update its current LCD display screens on all of its
next-generation devices using a new technology developed by
Japanese electronics maker Sharp called IGZO.
"This technology has displays that are flexible and are 40 percent
faster than today's displays and consume 30 percent less power,"
"It indicates that the new iPhone may be flexible and come in
But some industry experts believe a new design for the same phone
is not enough to get investors excited again.
"A rejigged iPhone is still an iPhone, and won't bring with it the
same sort of hype that a new product would generate," said tech
writer Adrian Kingsley-Hughes in an article on tech website
In a December 2012 article on Barron's website, Barclays Capital's
Ben Reitzes said "the company needs to offer something big to
improve investors' attitude toward its shares".
And that 30 percent of investors surveyed at a meeting in New York
City thought Apple is suffering from a "lapse in innovation".
For years, rumours have circulated as to what Apple's next big
thing might be.
Some have speculated a system that links home appliances is on the
horizon, while others have said in-car accessories is a market
that is begging for the company's innovation.
But according to analysts, an Apple TV set could be the next game
"It's definitely the next area where investors are looking in
terms of innovation," Brian Colello, a senior equity analyst at
Morningstar told NBC News.
Some industry experts point to comments by Apple's founder, the
late Steve Jobs, as a hint of what is to come with Apple TV.
In his 2011 authorised biography on Jobs, author Walter Isaacson
wrote that Jobs had finally "cracked" the secret to the
"I'd like to create an integrated TV set that is completely easy
to use," Jobs told Isaacson.
"It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine," Jobs
According to a Wall Street Journal report, Apple TV would "give
viewers the ability to start any show at any time through a
digital-video recorder that would store TV shows on the Internet.
Viewers even could start a show minutes after it has begun".
In December, Apple's current CEO Tim Cook told NBC that TV is "a
market that we see that has been left behind".
Analysts have predicted Apple TV, equipped with email, text
messaging and social media integration could launch as early as
Several Apple retail stores have moved into larger spaces,
providing another hint the company plans to roll out larger
products, analysts said.
"We believe based on various conversations, this shift is to
create space for TV because a TV would need more viewable areas
and more space so customers can take a look at it," Chowrdy said.
Chowrdy added Apple's investment in solar technology could
indicate an expanded iCloud that includes the streaming of TV
The dichotomy of booming profits and slumping stocks have led to
mixed predictions from commentators and analysts on Apple's
Apple's chief rivals, including Samsung and Google, have also
launched products that have cut into Apple's consumer market,
including the Samsung Galaxy S3 which in November ousted Apple as
the top selling phone in the world.
"For the first time, every other company has caught up with
(Apple) on hardware," said James Altucher, managing director of
the asset management firm Formula Capital in a research note for
the website Seeking Alpha.
But as tech writer Farhad Manjoo points out in an article for
Slate, despite Apple's competition releasing quality products,
they could not match Apple's numbers in sales.
For instance, in the final quarter of 2012, according to PCMag.com,
the iPhone 5 was ranked the best-selling smartphone in the US.
"Apple's rivals threw everything they could at the firm and still
couldn't dent its sales records," Manjoo said.
He added that despite record sales, stockholders were nervous when
they learned Apple did not sell as many phones or Macs as analysts
And as investors expect more and analysts continue to raise their
standards when it comes to sales predictions, it seems Apple's
decades of innovation could be its own worst enemy when attempting
to rise to the expectations of Wall Street.
writes for RIA Novosti)