Is Apple Falling Behind?

Barclays Capital analyst Ben Reitzes has expressed concern about Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) future product plans in light of rivals’ displays at the Consumer Electronics Show and asked: “Why doesn’t Apple do this?”

“The lack of Apple products in some areas has investors worried that anything the company does this year may not be from a position of its usual leadership,” Reitzes wrote in a research note on Friday, according to Forbes. “Given our view that Apple has fallen behind in perception — we believe the company still has room to surprise this year. We are looking for improved web and data services in iOS 7 and the realization that its ecosystem can sustain and improve its value despite threats from Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN).”

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The analyst had a host of suggestions for Apple in light of the hardware and software showcased at the event, with a smart TV software product on top of his wish list. Reitzes said he was essentially talking about “a tablet on a wall with apps and access to channel guides.”

The analyst also added to the recent buzz of rumors about a cheaper iPhone for emerging markets, saying such a product held a high launch probability despite the likely lower margins it would yield. In addition, the iPhone may quite possibly get a version with a larger screen, he said.

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Reitzes also asked for a wearable computing strategy, something else that has been in the rumors lately. “Watches equipped with NFC identifiers and the ability to communicate could actually be useful,” he wrote. In addition, the analyst said he wanted a payments system from Apple that would enhance its ecosystem’s utility. Though he admitted the probability of this was low, Reitzes said better keyboard accessories for the iPad may also be helpful. “It’s time to stop PC convertibles and rival tablets in their tracks,” he said.

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