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AAPL Soars Past Magic $700 Mark on iPhone 5 Frenzy

AAPL Soars Past Magic $700 Mark on iPhone 5 Frenzy

Apple continues to generate results with each new iPhone release, but it won't be long before consumers demand more. "We're at the point that by the next time this rolls around, they're going to have to do something a little more exciting for folks," said analyst Bill Morelli. "There's probably not too much longer before they go without an entire refresh to the user interface."

By Rachelle Dragani MacNewsWorld ECT News Network
09/19/12 5:00 AM PT

Apple's iPhone 5 is driving the stock to all-time highs, climbing past US$700 per share for the first time in the tech giant's history.

The company had already claimed the title of most valuable company before it surged past $700, but its close at $701.91 on Tuesday was a high point for the maker of the iPhone.

The sky-high numbers came after the company announced it sold more than 2 million iPhone 5s Friday, the first day consumers could pre-order the upgraded smartphone.

Apple shares closed at $701.91 Tuesday, up $2.13, or 0.3 percent for the day.

Demand Driven

"There was a lot of pent-up demand for this one from iPhone owners who didn't upgrade to the 4S," Bill Morelli, director of mobile technologies & convergence at IMS Research, told MacNewsWorld. "There were a lot of iPhone owners holding out for the larger screen and a more compelling difference, so we're going to see it do pretty well."

Apple accessory makers are sharing in its success. With the release of the iPhone 5, Apple revealed an upgrade to the dock, making it smaller to fit a thinner phone and comply withworldwide regulations. The switch, its first since the iPod launched about a decade ago, rendered thousands of iPhone chargers, speakers, alarms and automobile accessories useless, meaning users will have to buy new ones to go with their upgraded phones.

Another change to the iPhone was a bigger screen and a more powerful processor -- perfect upgrades for a user looking to watch clearer movies and more complex games. Apple didn't disappoint in that sense, said John Feland, CEO and founder of Argus Insights. His research of the buzz surrounding the release of both the 4S and the 5 showed that Apple seemed to know exactly what its users wanted next.

"There was a big shift in usage scenarios discussed," Feland told MacNewsWorld. "With the iPhone 4S, it was social media. With the iPhone 5, it was movies."

What's Next?

Even all the hype surrounding the phone might not be enough to satiate some of the iPhone's biggest fans. Even before some avid Apple enthusiasts and tech watchers have had their hands on the new device, many are wondering what's next for Apple, and how long it can keep up the high-profile announcements without disappointing.

The lack of exciting features between the 4 and 4S weren't enough to stop consumers from gobbling up a record number of iPhones, so this time around, but there's only so long Apple can go on without another game-changer, said Morelli.

"We're at the point that by the next time this rolls around, they're going to have to do something a little more exciting for folks," he said. "There's probably not too much longer before they go without an entire refresh to the user interface."

Bigger iTunes Makeover

And the device isn't the only thing that is still lacking at Apple, said Morelli and Brian Collins, account executive at Appency. iTunes is also in need of a major refresh. While the company addressed some visual changes to the music player at this year's event, complaints about the system are still rampant among digital content managers and app developers are rampant. iTunes has not received a significant overhaul since it became more important with the dawn of mobile devices, podcasts and apps.

"I'm curious to see how the new iTunes refresh will work," said Morelli. "They tweaked some of the features, but there is still frustration with that aging system. It is getting to be awkward with managing content, and it will be interesting to see when Apple addresses that."

The new version of iTunes doesn't debut until October. More questions about its efficiency will be answered then, but developers are still holding out for a more bold makeover, said Collins.

"Nothing I saw in the announcement told me that the App Store in iTunes has been significantly overhauled besides the look," Collins told MacNewsWorld. "Sadly, we won't find out what this new version of iTunes means for the app ecosystem until it launches later this year, as it went undiscussed."


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