Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty was the one to suggest the likelihood of such a “killer app” coming out with an updated iOS 7 and iPhone 5S. But just what that application might be is up for debate. Some speculate that it could be a mobile wallet, while others lean towards a radio service.
Apple has already toyed with concept of a mobile wallet, though its Passbook app was a skip and a throw away from being a true mobile wallet that allows the phone to function like a credit card. If it did go ahead with such a feature, it would likely require that the next iPhone include Near Field Communication technology, which could lead to more retailers embracing NFC.
The other possibility is the Apple will launch a streaming radio service to compete with Spotify, Rdio, Rhapsody, and Pandora (NYSE:P). It’s been rumored that Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) might be trying to launch music-streaming services, and Apple may make the move in order to compete with them as well. However, it’s unlikely that a suggested iRadio would fall into the category of “killer app,” considering all the available streaming services already permeating the market…
Huberty and analyst Gene Munster both leaned towards the mobile wallet as the feature Apple will be debuting this summer, and that could have a ripple effect for the competition — numerous devices on competing operating systems already feature NFC technology and could support a mobile banking app — as Apple’s support of the technology could lead much wider support in stores.
Huberty also expects new iPad models this summer and potentially an Apple TV or iWatch next year. She also suggested that Apple would announce a cash return program that could increase dividend yields to over 3 percent. The company may also put some of its cash stockpile toward share buybacks.
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