In September 2012, Apple seemed to be on a high, with its stock surging to $700 a share. Shortly thereafter, Apple’s stock fell to a little over $500, with many thinking that the corporation’s iconic iPhone design to blame. At the end of 2012, Apple’s stock stood around $530 and saw many stock investors reducing their predictions about the Apple surge. Some investors turned from “buy” to “neutral,” a turnaround that was unforeseen earlier in 2012 for Cupertino. The rocky results from 2012 have many wondering if Cupertino can still compete – or if the company will compete with mobile market manufacturers in 2013.
Analyst Brian White is aware of all the changes in Apple stock in 2012; he, however, believes that Apple’s stock will rebound in 2013. One of the things he says that contributed to the reduction in Apple stock surrounds bad tech press about the company. I can attest to this: in 2012, there were more negative articles about Apple than in any year prior. The iPhone, once an ingenious design, was deemed “usual” or “amazingly predictable and utterly boring” (wrote The Wired’s Matt Honan). Other manufacturers have caught up to Cupertino and have surpassed the company in the widgets and other customizations they offer in their smartphones. It was Samsung, Google, and other Android manufacturers’ array of screen sizes that forced Cupertino in September to offer the iPhone with an improved 4.0-inch display, as opposed to the 3.5-inch display the company offered in the first five generations of the product.
Sometimes, the future can change one’s impression of the past. Apple sure hopes it can make up for its recent iPhone troubles with a new iPhone that comes with more customization than iPhones have been known for in the past. According to Topeka Capital Markets Analyst Brian White, the new iPhone (what he calls the “5S”) will come in a few additional colors, such as blue, yellow, and pink (in addition to white and black). White also states that the iPhone will come in “multiple” screen sizes: “Although Apple offers a 4-inch screen on the iPhone 5…we believe this is about to change with the next iPhone offering different screen sizes,” one of which could be an “iPhone Mini” (Mashable). Barclays reports that the large-screen smartphone could go as high as a 4.5-inch diagonal display (Business Insider).
Brian White is not alone; Peter Misek has predicted that the iPhone 5S (he agrees with White on this) will have six to eight colors when it emerges this Spring or Summer 2013. Analysts have been known in the past to be wrong, but some have also been known for their accuracy in iPhone predictions. As with all other predictions that either did or did not come true, iPhone lovers will have to wait until the time draws closer.
With Apple’s new color and size customizations, the company concedes to Android and its manufacturers. Android has always been adept at making smartphones in various screen sizes and colors that appeal to smartphone customers – even the iPhone faithful. However, it will take more than color and screen customizations in order to regain Apple’s lost ground. What customers want more than color and screen variety are the latest technologies (such as wireless charging and NFC) and screen widgets. To allow these, Apple will have to relinquish its control over iOS and give more power to the customer – something that Apple has never been known to do. The kind of customizations customers want is the kind that Apple is not willing to give.