The hopes of a nation rest on the success of iPhone 5. That may sound like an overtly hyperbolic way to open this article, but when you consider that JP Morgan have stated that its release could potentially add between 1/4 to 1/2% point to fourth quarter annualized GDP growth, it becomes clear that the phone’s level of success will have a significant impact on the U.S. economy. Lest we forget, Apple is now also the largest company in the world by market capitalisation, so the initial reception the phone receives at its launch on September 12th will impact the American stock market in the short and medium term.
I suspect that regardless of what Apple reveals, there will an element of disappointment among investors, the media and the Twitterati. Until they reveal the next new product, whether it be an Apple television or the rumoured Apple car, there will be those who unfairly question whether Apple are moving forwards at the rate they were under Steve Job’s helm.
Jobs oversaw an outstanding period of innovation, from the launch of the iPod in 2001 to the iPhone in 2007 and then finally the iPad in 2010. His presentations of new products or updated versions of products became major news events, with each one furthering Apple’s claim to be the premier American company. However, they have now become a victim of their own success. Short of something like a holographic keyboard being announced, I predict there will be a degree of disappointment with the launch of the iPhone 5. Will it sell millions of units? Of course, but Apple have raised expectations in relation to their products to such a frenzied level that the hype is now unsustainable.
Never mind the fact that they are entering into a healthy period of consolidation, as they carefully refine their computers, phones and tablets over the coming years, or that the iOS6 looks like a significant software development, there will still be those questioning why Apple isn’t as ‘exciting’ as it was under Steve Jobs’ leadership.
Type in iPhone5 into Google and you will find thousands of predictions as to what the Siri-esque surprise will be this time round. Some suggest it will be a fingerprint scanner, while others speculate that it will include a streaming music service. In truth, what would help most buyers would be a considerably longer battery life, but that’s clearly not sexy enough for the majority of these articles.
Yet Apple are not entirely blameless when it comes to the endless speculation; they have thus far cultivated and leveraged the hype to maximise sales, returns and the creation of the Apple acolyte. Time will only tell if they are able outrun the endless speculation, but as the opening paragraph suggests, there is a lot more riding on the iPhone 5’s success than the success of a single company.
About Aman Anand
Aman Anand studied English Literature at UCL. He writes literary fiction, his debut novel is titled 2032. You can buy his book on Amazon at: http://amzn.to/OJCvU1