The long-anticipated next-generation iPhone is expected to debut at an Apple Media Event Sept. 12 and go on sale Sept. 21.
Rumored improvements such as a bigger 4-inch screen and 4G LTE network compatibility have heightened consumer anticipation, even slowing sales of the current iPhone 4S.
A recent survey of more than 4,000 American consumers by ChangeWave Research indicated that many can't wait to give their money to Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL).
"Advance demand for the iPhone 5 is strikingly higher than we've seen for any previous iPhone model," Paul Carton, ChangeWave's vice president of research, told Computerworld.
In addition, extraordinarily positive guidance from several iPhone component suppliers hints that Apple has ramped up production like never before. Cirrus Logic (Nasdaq: CRUS) forecast a 70% sales increase for the current quarter. Omnivision (Nasdaq: OVTI) said it expected revenue to jump 38%-50%.
[ppopup id="70925"]Six ways you can make money as the masses flock to Apple for the iPhone 5. [/ppopup]
And with Apple's huge patent case victory over Samsung two weeks ago casting a cloud over the iPhone's Android-based competitors, conditions are ideal for a huge iPhone 5 launch.
In a note last month, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, predicted the Apple iPhone 5 would be "the largest consumer electronics product upgrade in history." He forecast the iPhone 5 will sell 6-10 million units within its first 10 days.
Another analyst, Horace Dediu of Asymco, has projected iPhone 5 sales of about 170 million units over the next year, which would beat first-year sales of the iPhone 4S by about 70%.
Given that the iPhone contributes more than half of Apple's profits, any large increase in iPhone sales will deliver a mammoth boost to the bottom line. And those rapidly rising profits will keep pushing AAPL higher.
Since its official launch on June 29, 2007, Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) has sold well over 180 million iPhones. Hands down, it's the most successful mobile phone ever launched.
But what most investors don't realize is the huge impact the iPhone has had on medicine.
The fact is, more than any other product on the planet, the iPhone is driving a whole new sector called mobile healthcare, or mHealth for short.
With an iPhone in hand, it will redefine how doctors and other health-care pros work with their patients.
But here's the big payoff: mHealth promises to save millions of lives as doctors use it to detect and treat diseases much more quickly than they could with old-school devices.
These radical advances will undoubtedly make lots of early mHealth investors quite rich.
But don't take my word for it....
A trade group known as GSMA says the mobile healthcare sector will reach total sales of $23 billion by 2017.
Of course, phones and tablets that use Google Inc.'s (Nasdaq: GOOG) Android operating system also could play a big role in the sector.
But at this point the iPhone remains the clear leader in this rapidly growing market.
It's So Much More Than a Phone
That's why I'm glad to introduce you to a startup firm that has staked much of its future on the iPhone platform.
To continue reading, please click here...
Apple's ability to alter the fate of other tech companies was on full display at the June 11 WWDC 2012 keynote.
Apple's enormous revenue - about $160 billion annually and rising - means generous and steady profits for its partners and suppliers. A new deal with Apple often gives a tech company's stock a nice pop.
But it also explains why tech companies dread losing a relationship with Apple.
Investors that may not want to buy Apple often use the Cupertino, CA company's partners as proxies. It can be a profitable strategy, but a risky one - Apple often drops partners with little or no warning.
Apple's announcements at WWDC created a fresh set of winners and losers. Let's have a look at what happened:
And this year's edition, the first WWDC without iconic founder and CEO Steve Jobs, figures to be scrutinized even more closely than usual.
WWDC is Apple's annual gathering for those software developers who create apps for its Mac and iOS (iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad) platforms. But the show is also an opportunity for Apple to unveil new features and products, which is why WWDC attracts a great deal of media attention.
Exactly what Apple will unveil at events like this has long sent tech pundits into fits of wild speculation. The company's secretive policies just add to the mania.
Sorting through the cacophony of rumors and speculation, Money Morning has distilled what to expect - and not to expect - from WWDC 2012.
Let's first go over some things Apple almost surely will not be talking about at WWDC 2012.
The Apple TV: If Apple is indeed working on a full-fledged television set, you won't see it at WWDC. In fact, this device may not turn up until early 2013 (and Apple will hold a "special event" when it does).
The iPhone 5: The next generation iPhone is expected in late September-early October, a year after the iPhone 4s debuted. It probably won't even be mentioned in Monday's keynote.
iPad Mini: Rumors about a 7-inch version of the iPad (which sports a 9.7-inch display) have been percolating for months. But such a beast, if it exists at all, won't appear at WWDC.
So what does Apple have up its fashionable sleeve this year? Here are the five most likely candidates:
And I believe it will in a relatively short order - but it won't be easy.
Apple took the most valuable company crown from Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) in January after stunning December quarter results sent the stock soaring. Yesterday (Wednesday), AAPL's market cap crossed $500 billion.
As Apple's valuation has climbed, fueled by a five-year average annual growth rate of 59%, more people have started throwing the t-word around - as in trillion.
"Apple's a no-brainer to me to hit a $1 trillion-dollar market cap within the next year," James Altucher, managing director of Formula Capital, said on CNBC's "Fast Money" recently.
The record for market cap is just over $650 billion, achieved briefly by Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) at the peak of the dotcom bubble in early 2000.
Only a handful of companies have made it to the $500 billion club, and membership has been fleeting.
The list includes Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) and General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) - all during the 1999-2000 market peak. The last company to breach the $500 billion mark was Exxon Mobil in 1997.
One factor in Apple's favor is that it has risen to its current lofty levels not riding a bubble but despite a recession. And the markets for its existing products, such as the iPhone, the iPad and the Mac, still have room to grow.
"The reason Apple has been able to continue growing at a spectacular rate, even as its revenue base has surpassed $100 billion, is because it targets the world's biggest markets," Robert Cihra, an analyst at Evercore Partners, told The New York Times. "The simple fact is that they still have a small share of huge markets - single-digit shares in both PCs and mobile phones."
Naturally, getting to $1,000 a share and a $1 trillion market cap will require the addition of new sources of revenue, as well as sustaining growth in existing markets.
However, Apple already has head start with at least three cutting edge innovations...
AT&T's offer to buy T-Mobile from Deutsche Telekom AG (PINK ADR: DTEGY) is the industry's biggest acquisition since 2004 and combines the industry's second and fourth largest providers. It would add 34 million customers to AT&T's 96 million, giving the newly formed company 43% of the U.S. wireless carrier market and surpassing Verizon's 34% market share.
Sprint Nextel Corp. (NYSE: S), the third biggest U.S. wireless provider, was rumored to be in talks with Deutsche Telekom about purchasing T-Mobile USA. Sprint has struggled in the wireless market behind Verizon and AT&T. The new deal would give AT&T twice as many customers as Sprint.
AT&T not only wants T-Mobile's subscriber base, but also needs the additional spectrum, or airwaves, to expand its network and serve surging demand for video and data content delivery. The new company will also save an estimated $3 billion annually when it eliminates overlapping operations like retail outlets and advertising spending.
"From AT&T's perspective, this is a huge win," independent analyst Chetan Sharma told The New York Times. "It's about being No. 1 and having economy of scale."
The sector's overall revenue is already projected to advance by 60% in the next three years.
But you have a chance to do even better.
You see, thanks to visibility it gained from its inclusion in the iPhone and iPad, this microchip technology - known as Micro Electronic Mechanical Systems, or MEMS - represents a ground-floor profit play with a big, and sustained, payoff.
"For the global MEMS market, the iPhone 4 was a breakthrough product," Jérémie Bouchaud, director and principal analyst for MEMS and sensors at market-researcher iSuppli Corp., told Money Morning this week in a telephone interview from Munich.
There's a hefty profit potential from this iPhone technology, especially if you focus on the smaller players whose sales are growing at double- and triple-digit rates.
But one stock in particular packs a promising profit punch. In fact, this company's technology was so crucial to the success of the iPhone and iPad that buying its stock would be like owning "B" shares in Apple.
For the one "MEMS" stock to play now, please read on...
The network, which employs a technology called Long-Term Evolution (LTE), is designed to provide wireless Internet connections fast enough to compete with land-based cable modems or fiber optic technology.
"We've got LTE smartphones on the horizon," Stratton told The Wall Street Journal in an interview. "Motorola will be right there."
Verizon is expected to confirm it will start providing service for the iPhone early next year, according to a report last week in The Wall Street Journal.
January may be a strange time to launch the much-anticipated product, but AT&T (NYSE: T) reportedly convinced Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) to give it one last holiday season as the iPhone's exclusive U.S. provider, according to a report in Tech News World.
With millions of frustrated AT&T network users making noise and millions of loyal Verizon customers anticipating the iPhone's release, investors are wondering if the iPhone could give shares of both Apple and Verizon a shot in the arm.
However, the phone won't make it out in time for the Christmas season, as many had hoped.
Apple will be ramping up to mass produce the new touchscreen handset by the end of 2010 and release it in the first quarter of 2011, people familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal. While the phone would be similar to the iPhone 4 sold by its current carrier, AT&T (NYSE: T), it would be based on an alternative wireless technology used by Verizon, the people said.
The Verizon iPhone will mark the end of AT&T's agreement with Apple that gave the telecommunications giant exclusive rights to market and sell the handset since 2007, when Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs introduced the original iPhone.
Verizon has been testing its networks and capacity to handle the heavy data load by iPhone users, seeking to avoid the kind of bad publicity that plagued AT&T after booming sales of data-hungry iPhones crippled its network.
The new operating system, which it spent two years developing, is the software giant's latest assault on the crowded smartphone market, where it has struggled to gain a foothold.
Microsoft's earlier mobile software was based on the design and interface of Windows desktop operating system. Although those phones showed early promise, the system's growth slowed dramatically as the company was upstaged by competitors like Apple Inc.'s (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPhone and Google Inc.'s (Nasdaq: GOOG) Android software.
Now, don't get me wrong - I'm not pushing you into a defensive investment cocoon. I still love the opportunity to make huge profits from the advent of new technologies that are revolutionizing both computing and communications in a way not thought possible only a few years ago. Assuming you have measured your risk appetite and incorporated many high-potential return opportunities in your portfolio, adding low-Beta, dividend-rich winners such as last week's and today's (Monday) will improve your portfolio diversification, reduce volatility and add some serious income.
Today's stable dividend winner is in the skyrocketing world of mobile computing. Powerful smartphones are giving us brand new capabilities, which greatly improve productivity. And the growing variety and availability of cloud computing services are already impressive. From mobile e-mail to mobile web-browsing and even mobile video and geo-location-based services, there's a myriad of applications now available to consumers. These services are only possible thanks to large technological improvements and investments in wireless networks.
When Apple debuted the iPhone 4 on June 24 it broke sales records. In the first three days, the company sold 1.7 million devices in the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, France and Germany, the most for any version of its top-selling product.
But the popular device has been plagued by misfortune - including the suicide of a Chinese worker, lost prototypes, reception problems, and an inauspicious introduction to the press and public when Chief Executive Steve Jobs could not get the phone to connect to the Internet.
Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs referred to the phone as the "biggest leap we have taken since the original iPhone." It's aimed at keeping the company's momentum going as Motorola's Droid phone, which uses Google's Android system, has edged some market share from Apple.
Apple's iPhone and iPad have helped supercharge the mobile-communications market. Those products - and others - have helped make sure that consumers and companies alike are inundated with new technologies, new applications, and a slew of new products. All these new options have potential buyers asking such questions as "Can this help me? " or "Do I need one? " or "Should I upgrade? "
Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs referred to the phone as the "biggest leap we have taken since the original iPhone."
It's aimed at keeping the Apple momentum going as Motorola's Droid phone using Google's Android system nabs some market share from Apple.