March 18, 2013
Engadget recently held a panel discussion about Apple at the site’s Expand conference. Invited to speak about Cupertino’s future were Victor Agreda, TUAW’s editor-in-chief, Piper Jaffary analyst Gene Munster, and blogger MG Siegler. The topic boiled down to this: Has Apple lost their mojo, and if they have, will it soon come back? Everyone on the panel agreed that Apple has been unfairly treated recently both on Wall Street and in the media. Siegler says that the negative press is “mostly a media-driven anomaly,” that has very little to do with actual results. He stated:
There's definitely some truth to the idea of, you know, success: You're as high as you can go. Where can you go from there?Munster, who we quote often here at AppAdvice, concurs. He believes that Apple’s perceived weakness has a lot to do with a lull in product releases, and the executive shakeup that happened last fall. He said:
I think it's a cycle. They had an abnormally large amount of products that were released at the end of the year. So I do think that that, mixed with the executive shakeup, is changing way that their products are released.All three panelists believe that Apple is fine, and once new products are announced, others will see this. In particular, all are bullish on the likelihood that Cupertino will launch a low-cost smartphone later this year. The so-called “iPhone mini,” they conclude, will help Apple in international markets. Munster, in particular, believes that an Apple television is in their future. However, as we have highlighted before, Munster’s position on when this product will launch has changed often. In early 2012, for example, he was convinced that Apple would launch a television by December. However, when that didn’t happen, he moved his target date to the end of 2013. That opinion remains, at least for now. Munster concludes:
We think it's six months after the App Store comes to Apple TV. Our best guess is that it's late this year. We don't have it in our model right now, but we think it will be announced by the end of this year.Finally, the panelists offered kind words for the so-called iWatch. Long-rumored, especially in recent months, this product is seen as one that could offer Apple a significant area of expansion. Take a look: I agree with much of what the Engadget panel said. I’ve never really understood the six-month fall in Apple’s stock price, especially when you look at Cupertino’s most recent financial report. Plus, many people seem to forget that Apple is just coming off a year in which they updated almost every product they sell. This was a remarkable feat, even for a company the size of Apple. Most of Apple’s negative press of late is almost surely tied to the growing success of competitors like Samsung. In addition, no one outside of Apple knows for sure what iOS 7 looks like. This will be the first iOS release not managed by Scott Forstall, who was forced out last fall. Finally, we've heard much about the iTV and iWatch in terms of rumors. However, until Apple actually releases either of these two products, uncertainty remains. Once some of this unpredictability evaporates, things should change. What say you?