Home Analyst: Apple Will Lose Its Cool Factor In 2012

Analyst: Apple Will Lose Its Cool Factor In 2012

The last week of December and first couple of weeks of January is when analysts and pundits climb out of the woodwork to make bold predictions for the new year. Some are data driven, some are just based on hunches from following the trends. Investors Business Daily is no exception and has one bold prognostication for 2012: Apple will “lose its cool.

Apple?! No. Everybody’s darling is impervious to internal or external threats. Or so the legions of Apple idolaters would have you believe. Could Apple be in for a rough 2012?

Here is Investor Business Daily’s reasoning for Apple “losing its cool”:

With the iPod, iPhone and iPad, Apple (AAPL) redefined markets and defined cool. But what’s left? The iPhone is boxy, flat and feeling stale. The Samsung Galaxy smartphone seems cooler. With Google’s (GOOG) Android platform now the fastest-growing mobile OS, Apple’s software advantage will diminish. Smartphones and tablets will become commodity items and Apple will be eaten by the collective Android gang. Apple’s next big hope is the TV market, a tough nut to crack and where Samsung is king.

We have toyed with the idea of what it would take for Apple to go into decline. The iterative process that Apple uses to update its products could lead to the dulling of the iOS device line. The iPhone 4S was not what pundits expected and Apple has shown that it is slow to adopt newer technologies until they are mature. As such, Android does have a “coolness” factor that Apple does not at this point because many of its new devices have “4G” LTE and NFC baked into the hardware. Ice Cream Sandwich is a beautiful and functional new addition to the series.

Apple is not going to lose its cool. At least, not for a long time. The biggest strength of Apple is that it uses its billions of dollars in the bank to lock down its supply line resources for top notch components. It also has the ever-popular App Store to fuel its iOS ecosystem. The fact of the matter is that the legions of developers creating apps for Apple are the coolest thing that the company has going for it.

We have seen the phenomenon multiple times in the last decade. The best and fastest growing companies in technology are the ones that come out with a great platform that they then allow others to build on top of. The seminal moment for Facebook’s growth was when the social platform opened its API in 2007. Google has long had a robust developer ecosystem to create apps and functionality. Android is no exception.

The iPhone and iPad are great devices. Overall, they may be a bit behind the technological edge of some of the top Android devices, but specs are not always the biggest selling point to the technology-consuming public. Content and applications are what sell devices these days and to that extent, Apple is king.

Apple has a lot of things going for it in the coolness department. Its marketing is second to none and is spurred along by the developer community as well as the three major U.S. cellular carriers that sell the iPhone and iPads. Outside of what Apple spends to market iOS, the ecosystem around it has billions of dollars tied into the notion that Apple is cool and will continue to be cool.

That does not mean that Cupertino can rest of its laurels. Companies that rely on previous success to maintain future gains are the ones that fall by the wayside. That has never been Apple’s modus operandi. IBD does have a bit of a point when it says that the iPhone is becoming a bit stale. The Occult can only keep Apple in the spotlight for so long before the company needs to come out with a major (read: non-iterative) update to the entire iOS platform, both software and hardware. Yet, it is pretty safe to say that Apple will continue being just as cool in 2012 as it has been in previous years. Even without Steve Jobs, Apple is a company that knows how to tug on the heartstrings of consumers.

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