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3 Apple Surprises You'll See Before Year's End

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The biggest news affecting Apple's (AAPL) stock price these days is Carl Icahn's ownership in the company.

Icahn's recent tweet confirming his stake in Apple has helped move the stock over $500/share. He has been promoting the idea that Tim Cook is in favor of a large stock buyback to continue to support the stock price.

Apple's stock has been disregarded for most of this year as critics have complained that its best days are behind it.

However, there are still many new surprises to expect out of Apple in 2013. Here are three:

1. iOS 7 is going to be the big surprise this autumn, not the 5S.

Most people are expecting the newest iPhone to be the big surprise of the Sept. 10 launch event.

After all, it's all about the phone, isn't it? People have been obsessing over whether the new phone will have features such as near-field communication or its color. Will the new "gold" color help drive sales into the end of the year?

But I think there's going to be a much bigger surprise over the upcoming release of the iOS software that's due around the same time as the new iPhones.

Every year, Apple comes out with a new version of its mobile software. Up until now that new update has been an incremental improvement over the previous year's version. There have always been new little improvements but it's never been a dramatic shift.

That's about to change this year because Jony Ive has taken over responsibility for the software. The beta versions of iOS 7 show a striking break from the past. Making a big change is high risk and also high reward.

I think this is going to be a high reward outcome for Apple. People will likely really like the changes, which make the software more intuitive and fun.

There will be many people who will rediscover why they fell in love with the iPhone in the first place -- because it was just so easy and worked the way they've always wanted a phone to work.

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