Will Apple Inc. Launch This Major New Product in 2014?

Apple allegedly has a team of 200 people hard at work on this major new product for a 2014 launch.

Mar 15, 2014 at 11:30AM

Many Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) investors are getting antsy. Shares still trade about 25% lower than their all-time high at $705 in September 2012. As shares continue to flounder just between $500 and $550, the S&P 500 soared 25% since Apple hit all-time highs. Further, growth on Apple's top line has slowed to single-digits and net profit growth has vanished entirely. While massive share repurchases and dividends help dampen the negative effects of Apple's slowing business growth, the company will eventually need to turn another industry on its head to get investors excited about the stock again.

Apple Store

Fortunately, it looks like investors won't have to wait much longer to see how well Apple can innovate in an entirely new product category. Apple CEO Tim Cook has said on multiple occasions in the past twelve months that it will launch new product categories in 2014. In a recent extended interview with The Wall Street Journal's Daisuke Wakabayashi, Cook reiterated that Apple is "Absolutely" working on new product categories for launch this year.

Depending on how you define "new categories," rumored products include a phablet, a 4K television, a mobile payments service, and an iWatch. While a larger iPhone that could qualify as a phablet is a likely product investors will see this year, the only major new product that is looking likely as of right now is an iWatch.

iWatch rumors
The best evidence that Apple is an iWatch for a 2014 launch is its recent rampant hiring of employees related to wearable devices. A Feb. 10 in-depth report from MobiHealthNews on Apple's plans for its iWatch said the team at Apple working on the iWatch has now grown to 200.

Iwatch Nano Tmf

Apple's iPod nano was the first Apple device that could be worn as a watch.

Prominent rumor-mill chatter suggests that the iWatch will use sapphire glass for the display, be equipped with iOS, serve as a peripheral device that works in conjunction with an iPhone, and track health-related metrics, similar to other health smartwatch devices on the market today.

A big enough category?
Considering that the wearables market today is incredibly small, it's tough to imagine an Apple-branded smartwatch significantly budging Apple's $174 billion top line. Canalys estimates that the "smart band" market will only grow to 45 million annual shipments by 2017 -- and that estimate includes the assumption that both Apple and Google get into the market. Considering that Apple alone sold 150 million iPhones in fiscal 2013, 45 million total smart band shipments annually three years from now doesn't sound like a very exciting market.

Of course many experts drastically underestimated the iPad, too. But with so little known about Apple's potential in the market, investors shouldn't add in iWatch assumptions to their thesis just yet.

Another way to invest in the wearables revolution
If you thought the iPod, the iPhone, and the iPad were amazing, just wait until you see this. Two hundred of Apple's top engineers are busy building one in a secret lab. And an ABI Research report predicts 485 million of them could be sold over the next decade. But you can invest in it right now... for just a fraction of the price of AAPL stock. Click here to get the full story in this eye-opening new report.

Daniel Sparks owns shares of Apple. The Motley Fool recommends Apple. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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