Different sizes and colors will, as per usual, lure already diehard Apple people. If you're really hardcore, you'll replace whatever you have, even an iPhone 5. If you're like me -- hardcore, but not
hardcore -- you'll look twice at adding a line for a family member just to get the latest phone. And, at some point, you'll upgrade, even if not right away and quite possibly if you have to pay more to do it early.
But, more importantly, like Apple did with iPad mini, it opens itself up to new markets with a wider selection of phones. As Brian White of Topeka Capital Markets noted in
, Apple will probably, at some point, also increase the number of colors iPad comes in.
On the top and bottom lines, Apple extends its near-term dominance with this strategy. Nobody's coming for them at this juncture. At least not credibly. Apple owns the consumer and, in some respects, education and the enterprise; tweaks to current products can more than adequately serve and expand this omnipresence.
However, the idea of making cosmetic changes to current products -- not revolutionary, not even evolutionary -- should concern us long term. Before it became en vogue to be cautious of a post-Steve Jobs AAPL, I was beating this drum. Keep an eye on the long term, but
relax don't do it, when you want to
blow a lot of shares prematurely
If this is all Apple has -- superficial style adjustments -- the company is about to crash from supremacy to something in the neighborhood of mediocrity. 2013 can be the year of iPhone and iPad enhancements -- that's fine -- but it also has to be the year of a revolutionary Apple TV, a wearable computer that surprises us or something that would have made Jobs proud.
Step off though. Slow down. Lay on my couch.
Investors need regular therapy visits. There's no need to get anxious until a scary situation actually presents itself. If it does, you'll deal with it like you always do. If it doesn't, you'll be mad that you got all worked up over nothing.
--Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.