The last part of the recovery is all about a return to what Apple's been about over the past 30-plus plus years: innovation and design. Apple has always made beautiful, aesthetically pleasing products, and packaged them together with great marketing and the ability to use them easily. These products "just work," as Steve Jobs once famously said at a conference.
There's been much talk about where Apple will go with the brand, and who it partners with to sell more iDevices. On the earnings call, Cook hinted at where Apple could go down the line, even laying out a time frame, which is unusual for Apple. "Our teams are hard at work on some amazing new hardware, software, and services that we can't wait to introduce this fall and throughout 2014," Cook said in his prepared remarks. "We continue to be very confident in our future product plans."
Apple has increasingly talked about new software and services, as it tries to change the line of thinking that it's simply a hardware company. It's not, as it generated more than $4 billion in software and services revenue last quarter, but that gets overshadowed by the enormous revenue from iPhones, iPads and other hardware. A revamped version of iTunes expanded into mobile payments could be the boost software and services needs, but analysts, including White, think Apple has more in the way of new hardware to entice consumers and investors alike.
The oft-rumored iWatch could generate as much as $5 billion in revenue for Apple. There's also the long-awaited Apple TV, and the potential for a deal with China Mobile (CHL) to really juice revenue and earnings.Apple is starting to turn the ship around, and setting the stage for a return to growth in 2014 and beyond. It appears the market has already started to price that in, as it waits for "one more thing." -- Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York >Contact by Email. Follow @Chris_Ciaccia