Big iPhone event Sept. 10 with small expectations

Apple worrywarts are not hard to find as the company preps its next iPhone launch. Some analysts bet that smartphone buyers are more interested in the iPhone launch more than a year from now.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

Apple will reportedly hold its iPhone event Sept. 10 and the rollout of the company's iconic smartphone can't come soon enough.

According to AllThingsD, Apple will hold its iPhone launch Sept. 10. Apple watchers largely expect the company to launch a lower cost iPhone targeted at emerging markets as well as an iPhone 5S.


The launch comes at an interesting time for Apple, which hasn't launched much in 2013 beyond iOS 7, which was previewed in June. Board members are reportedly pushing for more innovation. Android is on the march. Apple has had hit-or-miss quarters---keep in mind that a so-so quarter for Apple is ridiculously profitable---and everyone is waiting for iTV or some smart watch or reinvention. There are worries about Apple's iPhone screen size and iPad volume too. It's also unclear if Apple has the ecosystem stickiness outside the U.S. and in emerging markets like China.

Also: 15 feel-good features in iOS 7 to make you love your iPhone again | Apple's iOS 7 hands-on, in pictures (gallery)

In a research note Jefferies analyst Peter Misek noted expectations for the latest iPhone are low. Why? There's smartphone fatigue setting in. He said:

Trend of elongating replacement cycles unlikely to be stopped by the iPhone 5S. With smartphones 50% of Q1 global handset shipments and 60% of U.S. subscribers currently owning a smartphone, we believe growth is shifting to the low-end and to emerging markets while high-end smartphone replacement rates are elongating. A compelling offering could interrupt that trend, but we do not believe the iPhone 5S is that phone as it has little to differentiate itself from the 5 or other high-end smartphones. We believe people are likely to skip the 5S and wait for the 6 with its larger screen.


Misek is expecting Apple to sell 30 million iPhones in the September quarter, 45 million in the December quarter and 29.3 in the March quarter.

Data from Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster indicates that the value of the iPhone 5 is holding up well on the secondary market. The upshot: Existing iPhone owners aren't necessarily waiting for the latest device from Apple.


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