Apple May Have Delayed 3 of Its Highly Anticipated Products

Apple's new products could challenge Samsung and Intel, but their release dates remain unknown.

Mar 26, 2014 at 11:00AM

Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) CEO Tim Cook has promised new products in 2014. Of course, Cook hasn't revealed what these products are (though he's dropped hints), or when exactly to expect them; but that hasn't stopped analysts, investors, and pundits from speculating.

In recent days, however, reports have piled up suggesting that some of these products may have been delayed, or possibly cancelled entirely. If that's the case, it could limit Apple's growth in 2014, and reduce the pressure facing firms like Samsung (NASDAQOTH:SSNLF) and Intel (NASDAQ:INTC).

Big, but not that big
Everyone from David Tepper to Donald Trump has been badgering Apple to release an iPhone with a larger screen. A bigger iPhone may be coming in 2014, but it might not be as big as many were hoping.

According to analysts at UBS (via Barron's), Apple is working on two new iPhone models, each model with a different screen size. The first would sport a 4.7-inch screen (making it competitive with Samsung's Galaxy S5), while the second would come equipped with a  5.5-inch screen (making it comparable to Samsung's Galaxy Note III). While UBS says it is nearly certain that the 4.7-inch model will ship later this year, it is not confident that the 5.5-inch model will go on sale at the same time.

While a 4.7-inch screen would (for big screen fans) be a notable improvement over the current 4-inch iPhone 5S, it would still fall far short of the phablet category. Samsung's original Galaxy Note started the trend back in 2011, and the Korean tech giant has seen notable sales increases with every new Note model released. In particular, Asian buyers are favorable to the larger form factor, with phablets outselling both tablets and PCs in most Asian countries.

Last week, analysts at ISI Group argued that Apple's forthcoming phablet would help fuel a major upgrade cycle, and could even convert some Samsung loyalists to Apple's platform. While a 4.7-inch iPhone may accomplish that, it would still be too small to cannibalize the market for Samsung's Galaxy Note.

Taking over the living room
It seems clear that Apple is interested in the TV space: Cook has been bragging about the growing number of Apple TV set-top boxes sold in recent quarters, while Apple confirmed that it had acquired PrimeSense (the creator the Xbox 360's Kinect motion sensor) last year.

But a full-fledged Apple-made TV set is starting to look less likely, particularly in 2014. The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple had only recently engaged Comcast in negotiations about a forthcoming Internet-based paid-TV service, while Yukari Kane, in her new book Haunted Empire, reports that Steve Jobs hated the idea of making a TV set, calling the business "terrible."

A new take on the existing Apple TV set-top box could be likely, but analysts have been expecting the company to release a full-on iTV in the coming months. Most recently, Wedge Partner's Brian Blair argued that a 4K iTV could help drive Apple share price higher (via Barron's).

If Apple does release a TV set, it will compete directly with Samsung's many different models. Currently, the Korean tech giant sells about one in every four TVs worldwide.

Expanding the iPad's reach
Apple's iPad business has experienced fairly lackluster growth in recent quarters, while it has ceded control of the tablet market to manufacturers that rely on Android (the biggest of which is Samsung). But later this year, Apple could be about to boost the demand for its iPad significantly.

Apple's decision to label its latest 9.7-inch tablet the "iPad Air" is interesting, in the context of its Mac nomenclature. An iPad Air almost demands a corresponding iPad Pro, and one could be coming later this year -- or maybe not. According to Digitimes, an outlet with a fairly good track record, Apple has "shelved" its larger iPad project. Finding little support among its partners, and seeing Samsung struggling to dominate the space, Apple may have changed its mind.

If that's the case, it would be great for Intel, which stands to lose a lot of business if Apple's iPad Pro catches on. Earlier this year, analysts at Evercore Partners predicted that Apple's forthcoming iPad Pro would revolutionize the laptop market, with iPad Pros further cannibalizing traditional PCs. Given that Intel dominates the market for laptop processors, such a development would be a further blow to a firm that's largely missed out on the mobile revolution.

Reigniting Apple's growth
With the demand for high-end smartphones seemingly near its peak, Apple will need new products in new categories to reignite its growth. Those products should appear in 2014, but which products and when they'll be released remains unknown. While analysts appear overly optimistic, investors shouldn't rely on products that might never see the light of day.

A better investment than Apple?
There's a huge difference between a good stock and a stock that can make you rich. The Motley Fool's chief investment officer has selected his No. 1 stock for 2014, and it's one of those stocks that could make you rich. You can find out which stock it is in the special free report, "The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2014." Just click here to access the report and find out the name of this under-the-radar company.

Sam Mattera has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Apple and Intel. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple and Intel. 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.

©1995-2014 The Motley Fool. All rights reserved. | Privacy/Legal Information