Apple Inc. investors are not happy with the tech giant’s slow rate of growth during the past six months. That was proved by the 12% drop in the company’s market value last month. In addition, Apple warned that this percentage may continue to increase.
The company can easily fix that problem by putting some of its billions into dividends and stocks or by issuing preferred shares. However, investors know that Apple’s popularity on the market is due to its next-generation consumer products. Now they want to see some more of them.
Option #1 – Cheaper iPhone
However, developing another trendsetting device is very challenging. Therefore, investors prefer Apple to simply broaden the iPhone lineup by offering consumers more choice in terms of price and display size. Analysts believe that an affordable smartphone may easily get the giant back in the game. But maybe there are already too many low-cost smartphones on the market, where the sales of smarthones decline.
In addition, investors think that this will also open new doors for the company in emerging markets like India and China. One way Apple may reduce the prices of its smartphones is by partnering with new carriers like China Mobile or Japan’s NTT Docomo.
However, Apple Inc. is best known for its high-end devices. Releasing cheaper versions of already established products may tarnish its image and cause a new market trouble. Although, Apple does not offer only luxury devices, consumers expect to see high quality, expenssive and smart electronics form it.
Aperently, launching a new iPhone versions is not enough. The company also needs to improve its entire platform. Moreover, that needs to happen in the course of this year.
Option #2 – Phablet
Another thing that Apple could do to improve its market rate is developing a phablet. In fact, analysts expect that this will happen somewhere around the beginning of 2014. They believe that the company will introduce a new smart device that will combine the functions and design of a tablet and a smartphone. There are already assumptions of the possible size of the phablet’s screen – 5 inches.
It is not clear, how a phablet will coexist with iPad family, but the development of such device is an option.
Option #3 – Software, Data/Web Services
There are some who think that the giant should invest more in software and web/data services. For instance, Apple could create a new method for authentication that can be used to make payments more secure. Also, it would be a good idea if the company launches an online music streaming service. That is because not all consumers are fans of creating large libraries on iTunes.
It is expected that Apple’s upcoming operating system iOS7 may show some of that. The giant will unveil its new OS next month and many people hope that it will offer something brand new on the table like an iCloud integration, innovative payment methods and an iOS-based TV service.
Option #4 – iWatch
However, the only hope Apple offers currently to its investors is the release of a smart watch. Analysts already predicted that the device will have ability to connect users’ different mobile devices. But recently-emerged information on the company’s iWatch suggests that the product will be more than just a connector of portable devices.
Apple’s patent application for the device was leaked a few days ago on the web. The iWatch will connect to other smart gadgets through Wi-Fi and Bluetooth and it will show its owner real-time information from them, in a similar way Sony’s such device does. In addition, the innovative watch will have a flexible touch-screen display. That will make the device comfortable to wear not only on the wrist, but also on other parts of the body.
According to the patent, Apple’s wearable computer will be very durable. The screen’s bendable qualities are said to preserve the device’s switches and components for a very long time.
The iWatch is mentioned to have some features of its own. Among them are play list function, text message reply capability, as well as phone calls checking.
The patent says that the battery of the smart watch will rely on a new technology. It will be recharged by the wearer’s movements. Also, there is an option for adding mini solar panels that will collect light energy which will charge the device. To further reduce the consumption of energy, Apple plans to use AMOLED display and a basic virtual keyboard.
This patent clearly shows that Apple Inc. has worked, is working or it plans to work on an iWatch. However, it is still unknown whether the device will be ever introduced to the mass market. It is doubtful that an iWatch will appeal to a wide range of consumers. Therefore, it might not really impact the company’s revenue and respectively shares value.
However, analysts are certain that Apple will soon release a big product with which it will try to win back its market position. This sounds reassuring to some investors, but uncertainty rules the moment…