One thing Apple could offer is wearable technology, perhaps making the iPhone wearable, or even moving into watches, as some have speculated. Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster wrote in a recent note that he believes wearable computers could replace the iPhone and smartphones, as consumers become more comfortable with wearing their devices. "We believe technology could progress to a point where consumers have a tablet plus wearable computers, like watches or glasses, that enable simple things like voice calls, texting, quick searches, navigation, etc. through voice control," Munster wrote, in a note.

I firmly believe that Apple has to do something big in the next couple of years, perhaps as early as the iPhone 6, to keep consumers coming back to Apple Stores around the world, and filling up the company's coffers with billions and billions in cash. Perhaps it's the Apple TV, perhaps it's wearable devices, or maybe it's something we haven't even thought of yet. That said, Apple does need to do something to show the world it has the best innovative minds in technology, pushing the envelope further than any company before it.

Apple must also be mindful not to piss off the consumer by releasing a new iPhone so close to the previous version. A minority, albeit a very vocal one, were upset that Apple announced the third-gen iPad in March, only to announce a fourth-gen in October. People have come to expect a new phone every twelve months or so, and with cell phone contracts running on average two years, the status quo might be best here.

The boys and girls at Cupertino have never been a group to accept status quo, but they must also be mindful that ultimately making the best products in the world only matters if the consumer isn't angry at you.

As we've all learned, never bet against the U.S. consumer. Every company, not just Apple, is wise to heed this lesson.

-- Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

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