Seemingly the whole world was watching and celebrating as Apple introduced two new mobile phone models yesterday, right?
So how come the stock is down almost six percent today?
We’ve got theories on why the “smart money” is bailing.
- Advance billing was that a new “cheaper” iPhone 5C would compete better with the bargain Android phones from Far East makers here and on their home turf. But in truth, the 5C ain’t really all that less expensive. In unsubsidized form (the way much of the world populace buy their phones) the 16GB 5C is $549, just 16.6 percent less than the iPhone 5 it replaces. And those five cute colors and plasticized case ain’t gonna woo converts either. Yes, women do love the colors, to help spot their phone in a darkened handbag. But anyone with any sense knows to put her/his phone in a case – mostly to bump up the edges around the screen to cushion falls – and get a custom color fix that way.
- Apple hasn’t “grown” the screen on the new high end 5S. Yeah, Steve Jobs thought bigger screens were goofy, but tell that to the skadillion happy owners of larger screen (mostly Samsung) mobile phones and even “phablets” who testify to the ease of use. And I gotta admit, every time I flub up a text message on my 4 inch display iPhone 5, and its’ lousy auto spell correct feature substitutes the wrong word, I wish for a larger virtual keyboard, too. Maybe the spell correct will improve with the new iOS 7 operating system coming next week. We can hope.
- The wonders of the new 64 bit processor in the new 5S are yet to be fully revealed. True, Apple demonstrated a video game running smoother. And showed off an improved 8 megapixel camera that works with the faster processor to automatically pick the better of a couple grabbed images, grab bursts of ten shots a second and perform a higher level of auto color correct with a double LED flash. There was also a little talk of how you’ll be able to monitor health and fitness activities on the phone. But it will still take a bunch more third party “apps” cited as “undoable with 32 bit phones” for this tech upgrade to really sink in. And other phone makers with much higher resolution cameras – topped off by Nokia with its 41 megapixel, Zeiss lensed Lumia 1020– can still hold their heads high.
- The proof is also in the pudding with the 5S’s fingerprint scanner. Hopefully it works a lot better than the frustratingly inept versions we’ve experienced in laptops of yore. Lots of people don’t lock their phone – unless their employer demands it. So we’re going to need to see “apps” that let you instantly buy a product or service with a thumbprint push to “sell” the value of the feature. I can easily imagine Amazon integrating the finger-ID with a barcode scan to expedite the purchase of a product spotted at a retail location.
- The fingerprint scanner may also trump (partly) the lack of a near field communications chip in the new Apple phone, though some of us were still wishing for NFC here so we could just “wave” the phone over a turnstile to gain admission to a movie or subway. It's in rival phones. Also MIA, sadly - wireless charging – dumbing down the recharging process by just sitting the phone down on a small induction charging platform – as is possible with custom snap on cases sold by Nokia for the Lumia 1020 and available for the iPhone 5 (and presumably new models) from Duracell Powermat. Such sleek utility features would have added a lot to the sense that Apple is still on top of the pack. And restored luster to its’ stock.