The new Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) iPhone 5 will be released sometime later this year, according to rumors. It will have a number of features that the iPhone 4 and iPhone 3 don’t. Among them is allegedly a function which will allow consumers to scan products in a store and pay for them on the spot with iPhone software. That will eliminate the need for physical payment and may even hurt the results of some e-commerce businesses and credit card companies.
Apple’s iPhone and iPad have begun to evolve from pocket PCs to life management tools. That will only progress with the advent of 4G ultra-fast internet. iPhones will be able to do what TV and cable modems tethered to the home can do. The living room and office will move from their physical spaces out into the world
Apple’s engineers and product developers have probably already begun to set the parameters of the iPhone 6. It can take a year or longer to design a complex electronics device and source the goods that will be needed to build it. Apple watchers will try to find out what new iPhone parts are being built in Asia. That will set off yet another round of speculation about what the latest smartphone from Apple will do.
Apple has played the game of upgrades well. It anticipates customer wants and needs before customers know what they are. Apple does not release products too soon, however, which helps eliminate the ability of an upcoming new model to cannibalize the sales of the earlier product. Apple’s problem is that eventually the iPhone and iPad will be so fully featured that they will lose their appeal. That happened to the iPod, which is now a decade old. Apple’s answer to the iPod problem was to create the iPhone and so on.
It has been said too often that Apple’s future is not with its current products but in the ones it will create for tomorrow. Apple’s history confirms that. The iPhone has already begun to age and has been partially flanked by smartphones which run the Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) Android mobile operating system.
The iPhone 9 will need to pilot spaceships and allow people to speak immediately with national leaders around the globe. That will make it a desirable handset, but will it be enough to retain the Apple faithful?
Douglas A. McIntyre