updated 11:05 am EDT, Thu May 5, 2011
Company claims software driving product cycles
Apple will likely reveal "major feature/function updates" at this year's WWDC in early June, says Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty. The prediction is based on a meeting with key Apple executives, including CFO Peter Oppenheimer, senior retail VP Ron Johnson and VP of Internet services Eddy Cue. During the gathering the executives explained that Apple "generally views product cycles as software driven," according to Huberty.
The analyst's claims may reflect the official Apple slogan for WWDC 2011, which invites developers to see a "preview of the future of iOS and Mac OS X." The Apple executives did not however confirm whether or not a new iPhone is due later this year, and Huberty suggests that instead sales may be pushed by the releases of iOS 5 and Mac OS X Lion. Lion is due in the summer, but iOS 5's date is uncertain. Some reports have hinted that both it and the iPhone 5 will launch in September, well past a normal WWDC timeframe.
Other details mentioned by the Apple bosses include confidence in the iPhone's inventory levels, linked to weekly or even daily data from partners. The company's retail plans involving expanding present locations, and building larger new ones, at a rate of up to 50 a year. Space is being freed up for setup services, with the aim of reducing returns and increasing overall transaction size.