NEW YORK (Reuters) - Apple Inc, firing the latest salvo in the smartphone wars, rolled out a slim new version of its wildly popular iPhone on Monday.
Apple’s iPhone 4 lands as competition in the smartphone market is boiling over, with rivals like Motorola Inc and HTC designing high-powered handsets based on Google Inc’s Android software.
This fourth-generation iPhone is 24 percent slimmer, packed with more than 100 new features, has a new camera system and longer battery life. The phone will be available June 24, with a price starting at $199 in the United States.
“It’s becoming unreasonable for the world to expect iPhone to continually outdo itself. There was nothing earth-shattering about what we saw or heard today. All of that said, you can’t think it will be anything other than a phenomenal success.”
In particular, Jackson noted that new service pricing plans announced by AT&T last week will mean that the new iPhone is more affordable to more consumers.
“Price for a super sexy device is going to trump everything. That (service price) adjustment will translate to a lot of volume.”
ASHOK KUMAR, ANALYST, RODMAN & RENSHAW
”Most of the improvements were incremental. What it does is place Apple at hardware parity to rivals. It doesn’t break new ground in terms of hardware capability.
“Unlike past events, there were no surprises here,” he said, noting that investors are likely waiting for Apple to expand its distribution to other carriers before getting excited.
AT&T Inc is currently the exclusive provider but Verizon Wireless, a venture of Verizon Communications Inc and Vodafone Group Plc, has long been rumored as the next US iPhone operator.
”The next big event is going to be Verizon. It’s a guessing game whether it will be late 2010 or early 2011.
“The bottleneck continues to be the carrier negotiations and not the hardware. AT&T is still holding out, offering last minute carrots to Apple,” Kumar said, referring to AT&T’s offer to current iPhone users for an early upgrade to the latest phone.
”I think pricing was expected... They followed the same model as last year. It has been two years since the last big upgrade. They have added a lot of new features that kind of keep them ahead of the game as other smartphones catch up. I think Apple will sell a lot of these.
”It’s a very nice product, they have a lot of new innovative features. Apple did very well.
”I think if you are an Apple investor, you have to be happy with the kind of product Apple resealed today. The new iPhone 4 gives Apple a little more separation again.
“Everyone was expecting Apple to pack a lot of innovation into this iPhone and we weren’t disappointed.”
“While the iPhone 4 isn’t the leap forward that Apple paints it as, it is an exceptionally beautiful device and is a substantial upgrade that will succeed in maintaining Apple’s mind and market share growth.”
”Steve Jobs is the equivalent of Midas. He has the golden touch; his genius for marketing... is unrivaled. He anticipates the next need better than anyone... That’s his success.
”He looks a little thin, but he’s been through an awful lot, and who am I to say anything... I wouldn’t mind if he knocked down a few beers or something.
“There are over 40 brokerage firms that have a rating on Apple. There is not one that has a sell.”
“The dimension they’re probably best in is the screen. The storage is probably a bit light for all the apps they’re showing.”
Dulaney had hoped for two times more storage than the 32 gigabytes Apple announced. He said that this could be particularity disappointing for consumers looking to use the new phone’s high-definition video recorder, but noted that consumers would still be drawn to Apple’s products because of its services.
“But what you’re buying from Apple is not just the hardware. It’s the whole package, including the apps and the store. That is very impressive.”
”We had some sense of what was in the new phone already. It appears to have matched that expectation in our view and then some. This is more evolutionary than revolutionary -- it doesn’t completely change the paradigm for the iPhone.
”It looks great, I expect that we will see a line when the phone comes out.
“Expectations get so high for these product launches and announcements that a lot of times by the time it comes out it’s already in the stock. They always have to walk on water in order to impress the market.”
Reporting by Edward Krudy, Caroline Valetkevitch, Jennifer Saba, Sinead Carew in New York; editing by Paul Thomasch