Can Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) make lightning strike twice? According to Barclays analyst Ben Reitzes, the Cupertino-based company needs “a Siri-like moment” at next week’s iPhone premiere, reports Apple Insider.
Reitzes believes that a watershed moment at Apple’s upcoming media event could rekindle investor interest in the iPhone maker and give its shares a much-needed boost. However, the Barclays analyst seems doubtful that Apple can recapture the kind of excitement that the debut of Siri sparked in 2011 when the voice-activated personal assistant was paired with the release of the iPhone 4S.
Siri “generated a flurry of consumer interest, making the first two quarters of the 4S upgrade cycle much stronger than expected,” noted Reitzes in a note to investors via Apple Insider. However, the analyst believes that the new technologies that will be unveiled at this year’s event have been “so well telegraphed” that there is little room for surprise.
Still, he believes that the “scope and velocity of a new China strategy and any new features within iOS 7 and fingerprint scanner technology” could create some stock movement. Apple is widely expected to unveil an iPhone 5S that will feature a fingerprint scanner. This biometric scanner could be used as a security feature or a method for processing electronic payments.
Apple also scheduled an iPhone media event in China for the first time. While a rumor has emerged that Apple will announce an early iPhone launch date for China, there are also rumors that the company will announce a distribution deal with China Mobile (NYSE:CHL), the world’s largest wireless carrier. Although Reitzes is doubtful that Apple’s upcoming media event will dazzle consumers and investors the way that Siri did, he does believe that next year holds more promise for a “Siri-like moment.” The Barclays analyst believes a large-screen iPhone and a bigger iPad may be in the works.
Although Reitzes doesn’t appear to be impressed with a potential iPhone 5S fingerprint scanner, other analysts believe this biometric technology could give Apple a strategic edge in the mobile commerce and enterprise markets. Wells Fargo analyst Maynard Um believes a “device-side authentication” technology could significantly boost Apple’s share in both of these important markets.
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