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No New iPhone? No Problem

Stocks in this article: AAPL S VZ

CUPERTINO, Calif. ( TheStreet) -- Apple's (AAPL) iPhone 4S launch has prompted much wailing and gnashing of teeth from devotees eager to see an iPhone 5, but what about the many positives in Apple's announcement?

Sure, Apple did not put out shiny new hardware, but so what? The new iPhone 4S, with its faster processor, better camera and worldphone capabilities represents a significant step up from earlier versions of the phone. Apple, let's not forget, also firmed up its iCloud and iOS 5 efforts, as well as adding Sprint (S) to its list of iPhone carriers.

Apple introduced its iPhone 4S on Tuesday

"To us fans of all things Apple, the iPhone 4S includes some pretty awesome features, albeit in the same old packaging," explained Apple shareholder Ernie Varitimos, who runs the Apple Investor Web site, in an email. "We recognize the superior engineering, the industrial design, and the eco-system that surrounds the products -- the problem is that the rest of the world is far more concerned with superficial stuff, appearance and instant gratification."

Take iCloud and iOS 5, for example. Apple added flesh to the bones of these technologies during its iPhone launch event in Cupertino, Calif., announcing 200 new iOS 5 features and tight integration of the mobile OS and its cloud services. Although not as sexy as new hardware, state-of-the-art software and services such as iCloud and iOS 5 are key to Apple's future, enabling the tech giant to forge even stronger links with its customers.

"We believe compelling new capabilities in iOS 5 and iCloud will generate strong sales of iPhone 4S and increased iOS ecosystem stickiness to generate future recurring device sales," explained Michael Walkley, an analyst at Canaccord Genuity, in a note. "We believe a growing and loyal user base will result in strong devices sales and earnings growth for the next several years."

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