Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) recently announced that it will hold its annual World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) on June 10 -14 in San Francisco. Analysts at Barclays believe this annual event is significant as it indicates that new software and services will likely be announced within 2 months – and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s “narrative” has a chance to improve and change the focus toward new things.
The conference typically focuses on the Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) ecosystem and the software that holds it together – but can also be used to announce new Macs, iPhones and iPads. Analysts have conviction that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will unveil some key ecosystem enhancements at this event at the very least, which could include a move into payments, subscription services and enhancements to Siri that can extend the lead vs. Android. Obviously it is widely perceived that Android has closed the gap vs. iOS since music and even App availability have diminished as differentiators for Apple.
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At the WWDC Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has a window to turn perceptions of its platform around if it can begin to show the world that it is moving into mobile payments. Also, analysts believe music subscription services and a more substantial upgrade to the Apple TV are likely coming. Equally important, analysts want to see improvements to iCloud and Siri – with developers getting more excited about leveraging these features.
A move into payments could be the most realistic opportunity to really turn the perception around for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). Although there have been significant improvements to Apple Maps over the past few months, there is a long way to go before the integration with other Apps, the information availability, ease of use and quality of directions equals that of its competition. Furthermore, iCloud remains somewhat buggy and there remains a significant opportunity for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) to become the cloud storage vendor of choice by integrating improved storage interaction and an actual interface across devices.
The WWDC normally holds many product releases as well as software announcements. For example, last year’s conference saw the release of new MacBooks and iPhone models have been announced there as well. This year analysts expect Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) to announce some plans for new products at WWDC but do not necessarily expect the new iPhone and iPads at this time since both new products seem set to ship in September. Analysts look for an iPhone 5S, premium phone with a fingerprint sensor to launch by the end of the summer followed by a lower-end, polycarbonate framed iPhone sometime in the October time-frame Then they expect a larger screened, “phablet” to launch in 2014. Analysts at Barclays also believe Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will launch an iPad mini with retina display in September, which could come alongside a redesigned 9.7” traditional iPad.