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Should Apple worry if investors aren't impressed by the iPhone 4S?

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 05 Oct 2011 9:41 User comments (8)

Should Apple worry if investors aren't impressed by the iPhone 4S? Apple stock price took a hit yesterday after they showed off the iPhone 4S. Following Apple's announcement, their stock price lost almost $20 before recovering to close down just over $2 for the day.
While some people are making a big deal about this, it's important to remember that historically it has been iPhone sales, not announcements, which have pushed stock prices higher. The biggest factor for those sales, at least initially, will be how many current iPhone owners will be upgrading to the latest model.

Coverage of the iPhone 4S seems to be concentrating on what it doesn't have, such as a bigger display or redesigned exterior. But that's not necessarily a new thing either.

The iPhone 3G, for example, was mostly identical to the original iPhone, but with the addition of 3G data support, improved GPS, and some minor tweaks to the case design. Pricing was also improved significantly thanks to strategic changes by Apple.

With many early iPhone buyers opting for the 4GB model, there was a built in demand for the 8GB and 16GB 3G models, which were significantly cheaper (in the US) than the previous year's model.

The iPhone 3GS came out with a faster processor, more RAM, faster data capabilities, an improved camera with video recording capability, and a digital compass. The addition of a 32GB version probably convinced more than a few iPhone owners to upgrade.

The iPhone 4 was arguably the first real redesign. The processor was once again improved, the RAM was again doubled, and display resolution increased for the first time. Once again the camera was improved, both in terms of quality and video recording, with another front facing camera also being added, as well as a 3 axis gyroscope.

For the first time, the case was drastically altered, putting the antennae on the outside. Everything about it screamed new design.

Since Apple hasn't released the full technical specs of the iPhone 4S, we don't have complete details of the improvements yet, but based on what we do know there are a couple of notable changes.

The processor has been upgraded to a dual core model. Apple hasn't said how fast it is, which means it's likely not more than 1GHz. Even if it still runs at 800MHz, like the iPhone 4, that still means twice the speed.

The camera is also improved and a 64GB model is being added. The iPhone 4S also supports 1080p video recording, but it's hard to be sure what difference that will make to potential buyers.

The faster processor and new option for 64GB of storage would seem to be the most important changes for potential upgraders. The lack of a bigger screen and perhaps a reluctance to buy a new phone every year could certainly play a part in the decision.

On balance, it doesn't seem like there's any obvious way to predict how many people will want to replace their current iPhones, or how many of those upgrading from a pre-iPhone 4 model will opt for the 4S.

And, of course, there's the Android X-factor. Historically iPhone owners haven't switched to Android in large numbers. On the other hand, Android phones have typically been considered technically inferior to the iPhone.

With handset vendors, especially Samsung, gradually changing that perception, this could be the most interesting iPhone launch to date. But don't count them out until the sales figures are in.

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8 user comments

15.10.2011 11:28

Nexus Prime FTW!

25.10.2011 11:47

Oh dear, the writer said some people consider Android inferior. And so the comments begin on another article :)

35.10.2011 11:55

Build it, the fans will slobber... Investment genitalia always wants to draw up into the body cavity just behind their eyeballs like the cowards they are. Given the recent ACTA copyright scare, all the MPAA & RIAA Nazi tactics and corporations suing one another in an attempt to make the damned investors think that there isn't a world economic crisis going on we should be kicking them in said genitalia.

Of course I'm being thick here, but when I see the figures in the opening of the article saying "down $20" and a "final of only $2", I'm thinking, what are they complaining about? But I'm sure that has to be in the millions.

Equally, Whiny investors need to shutup & simply be thankful they made something at all in this economy. I.e., instead of bitching, "I didn't make $14 billion this quarter!"... How about, "Wow, at least I made a $1 million this quarter and didn't lose my ass..."


45.10.2011 14:03

Originally posted by LordRuss:


Of course I'm being thick here, but when I see the figures in the opening of the article saying "down $20" and a "final of only $2", I'm thinking, what are they complaining about? But I'm sure that has to be in the millions."
Very true, but $2 off a stock price of a $350+ isn't as much as say… Yahoo currently trading around the $15 mark!

55.10.2011 16:48

Quote:
Android phones have typically been considered technically inferior to the iPhone.
Um, ok. Not even going to get in to that one. But I love the conviction in that statement, I must have been hearing SO many people wrong over the last couple of years.

66.10.2011 2:19

Quote:
And, of course, there's the Android X-factor. Historically iPhone owners haven't switched to Android in large numbers. On the other hand, Android phones have typically been considered technically inferior to the iPhone.

Only by people who don't bother to check the specs and just assume that a phone that cost more and has a smaller screen must have something, "Magical" inside.

Investors don't need to worry about the 4S...people were still buying the iPhone4, so they will buy the 4S as well.

Investors should be concerned by the fact that steve jobs, the world's greatest salesman, won't be pushing these devices anymore.


77.10.2011 18:07

I will be getting one within 6 months.
Suck on that chumps.

87.10.2011 23:54

Originally posted by robertmro:
I will be getting one within 6 months.
Suck on that chumps.
Bloated pricing for lackadaisical improvement of service of actual improvements in phone performance. Basically the same apps, same phone service for your local, same provider, just the joy of getting the thing in white (unless you're going to badger me about this being old news anyway, woo).

Then yeah... boy... do I feel like I fell up to my neck into a cesspool of chump...

Dance for the iPhud, dance...

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