Companies & Sectors
Apple mania gets a reality check—iPhone 4S fails to excite the street

The stock has taken a beating and die-hard Apple fans are not very enthused by the latest offering. It might be time for Apple to go back to the drawing board

Amidst much frenzy and fanfare, Apple's new CEO Timothy Cook took centre-stage at 10:00AM local time inside the town hall in Cupertino, even as doting fans inundated Apple's website till they brought it down to its knees.

Unfortunately though, Mr Cook did not have enough brewing in the kitchen to make his fans wobbly in the knees. The much anticipated fifth-generation iPhone turned out to be an upgrade of the iPhone 4. As Shakespeare would say, "Oft expectation fails, and most oft where most it promises; and oft it hits where hope is coldest; and despair most sits."

The iPhone 4S will go on sale on 14th October in three variants—16GB, 32GB and 64GB, with two-year contracts on AT&T, Verizon and Sprint in the USA. The phone will debut in over 25 countries by the end of this month. There is no word yet on when the phone might be available in India. Apple announced that about 70 other countries will have the instrument on sale before the year is out.

Instead of altering the form of the phone, Apple chose to focus on the innards— the 4S will sport the A5, the same chip that drives the iPad 2. Apple claims that the chip will help the 4S achieve twice the CPU speed of its predecessor and the dual-core graphics chip will enable 7 times better performance with graphics enriching the multimedia experience for users. And unlike the iPhone 4 which was either GSM or CDMA, the new version is a dual-band global phone which means it will work on both networks.

The 4S will run on iOS 5, Apple's new mobile operating system with cutting-edge messaging and data synchronisation capabilities that seek to leverage the iCloud and create a seamless experience for customers across Apple's various device forms. Apple also integrated Siri, the company it acquired last year, to offer a voice-enabled personal assistant that is capable of taking notes, managing a calendar and even checking the weather or stock markets for its master.

And then there is the camera—it is an 8 megapixel beast with a backside illuminated (BSI) complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) sensor. BSI sensors are low light optimised, helping them deliver quality images even when the general light condition is poor. The camera also has a wide aperture of f2.4 and good shutter speed, making clicking a breeze. Users can click pictures even when the phone is locked; Apple claims that the first picture can be shot in 1.1 seconds and the next in just 0.5 seconds. With the resolution set at 3264 x 2448, you can expect 30% sharper images than from the previous version. The 4S is also capable of HD 1080p video.

But all of this failed to excite the market—at one stage Apple shares fell $19.25 to $356.14 before recovering to close at $372.50, a fall of $2.10 from Tuesday. There were mixed reactions from analysts—Colin Gillis of BGC Partners said, "It's been 16 months and all you've got is an A5 processor in the existing iPhone 4. It's a mild disappointment, but they're still going to be selling millions of units."

Piper Jaffrey, the analyst firm estimates that Apple will sell over 25 million units in the final quarter of 2011. Apple is also looking outward as it seeks to capitalise on growing markets such as China, India, Russia, Brazil and Mexico. But there is growing competition from handsets such as the Samsung Galaxy S II and HTC Slide in particular, and the Android platform in general. At the moment, Android handsets are outselling the iPhone two to one. In this scenario it is baffling why Apple did not make 4S compatible with 4G, as is the case with S II, for instance.

There is no doubt that there is enough demand in the US and globally for Apple to once again sell a large number of these phones. But by most accounts and the lofty standards set by Apple, this event in Cupertino failed to meet expectations. The device may be quick and nimble, but the iPhone has many worthy competitors. Now the legions of people, who follow Apple's every move with a cult-like madness and place it on a pedestal, will wait in anticipation for a product that can spin them into an exclusive orbit. For now, they will have to co-exist with the growing flock of mortals who are getting cosy with Android.

User

Vinita Deshmukh, RTI activist and senior journalist invited by Goa Chief Information Commission for a series of lectures on the Right to Information Act

The convenor of the RTI Forum for Instant Information will hold a series of lectures to commemorate the Information Week that is celebrated every year

Vinita Deshmukh, senior journalist and RTI (Right to Information) activist will hold three lectures-cum-workshops in three colleges between 10th October and 12th October at the Goa College of Home Science, Goa and GVM's Bed College and Goa Polytechnic College, Althino. The topic is will be 'Empower yourself with the knowledge and use of RTI'. She will give a concluding public lecture at the Goa State Museum on 'Role of Citizen Participation in the RTI movement.' India Against Corruption and Swabhiman Trust have invited her on 11th October to speak on the 'Role of RTI in removing corruption.' This will be presided by a workshop for citizens on the use of RTI.

Ms Deshmukh has highlighted the irregularities in the Dow Chemical Plant project in Pune which ultimately had to withdraw its project from Pune district. She had procured vital information through inspection of files under Section (4) of the RTI Act. She had found details through inspection of files under the Section of the same Act regarding toll tax charges being collected by Ideal Road Builders, the agency that maintains the Pune-Mumbai Expressway.
She has received the invitation for these RTI workshops from the Goa government, Directorate of Art and Culture, Panaji, Goa.

User

TVS Capital Funds appoints Madan TN to head research

Madan brings with him around five years of experience from his previous assignment with CRISIL where he oversaw the research delivery of large analyst teams working across a range of sectors.

TVS Capital Funds Ltd, which is in the process of raising its top- up 'Fund Scheme 1B', is expanding its core investment and research team. To further strengthen the team, TVS Capital has recruited Madan TN as head of research to play a significant role in deal sourcing and evaluation. Madan brings with him around five years of experience from his previous assignment with CRISIL where he oversaw the research delivery of large analyst teams working across a range of sectors.

Madan's expertise is in equity valuation and he has conducted workshops and seminars on practical issues of valuation for investment professionals across the industry. His earlier assignments include Morgan Stanley Capital International and Ernst & Young. Madan is a chartered accountant by qualification and was ranked 7th in India in the CA Final Examination.

Earlier this month, TVS Capital hired Gulshan Khatri as the head of investor relations. Khatri earlier assignment was with IDFC.

User

We are listening!

Solve the equation and enter in the Captcha field.
  Loading...
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email

BUY NOW

The Scam
24 Year Of The Scam: The Perennial Bestseller, reads like a Thriller!
Moneylife Magazine
Fiercely independent and pro-consumer information on personal finance
Stockletters in 3 Flavours
Outstanding research that beats mutual funds year after year
MAS: Complete Online Financial Advisory
(Includes Moneylife Magazine and Lion Stockletter)