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Tim Cook has officially managed his first huge Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) event soup-to-nuts. The result? Either Cook just dropped a huge bomb of brilliance on an otherwise small-thinking mainstream, or Steve Jobs is truly irreplaceable.
Let’s start with the horrendous reaction to the Apple iPhone event. Apple fans and the obsessed tech media were awaiting nothing less than a game changing iPhone 5. Measured against those expectations, new CEO Tim Cook got a big fat F for ‘Fool’. Our friends over at Business Insider indicate a whopping 82% of people polled are “disappointed” with today’s Apple announcement.
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Now, let’s dig a little deeper and make some bolder assumptions from a business savvy perspective. First, the biggest announcement for Apple’s business is the free iPhone 3S. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, when given the opportunity to get a free Apple product, millions of people will happily walk out of Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) with a new free iPhone paid for by Sprint (NYSE:S). The option is the first real threat to Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) successful quest to make Android the Windows (NASDAQ:MSFT) of mobile.
Second, the pent up demand for an iPhone 5 is strong. Apple already delayed the delivery of a new iconic iPhone past the usual September period, and those delays are like ringing a bell for Pavlov’s dog while hiding the food. Today, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) adds to the sensual frustration by saying, “Here’s a newer, faster, cooler iPhone. Try and resist it.” Clearly, there will be a significant number of Apple fans who purchase the iPhone 4S because they must have it. That in itself creates an additional, fresh product line in between two textbook iterations.
The best example of why this could be brilliant is the original iPad. If Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) wanted to deliver the best quality tablet computing experience out of the gates, they obviously would have had a camera on the iPad. However, that one feature alone has led to and will continue to lead to a mandatory upgrade for iPad 1 owners. The same for iPhone 4S owners: if the iPhone 5 truly is a game changer, Apple will have monetized all these people … twice.
Clearly, none of this capitalist stuff can mend an Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) lover’s broken heart. But if we’re measuring Tim Cook’s first big event, we’re going to need much more time before concluding whether Apple fell from the tree.
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