Apple: Like iPad Mini, iPhone 6 Will Silence Skeptics

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- TheStreet's Chris Ciaccia asked a legitimate question Wednesday: iPhone 6: Will People Even Care?

After reading the article and Chris's Tweets, I thought he might be turning cynical Apple ( AAPL). That surprised me because I know Chris as bullish, yet fair and insightful AAPL.

Chris told me he's not a cynic, at least not yet, but color him cautiously optimistic with a hint of "show me."

Show me? That's the type of thing you say to Intel ( INTC), Research in Motion ( RIMM) or Microsoft ( MSFT), not Apple!

Intel needs to show us that its living room ambitions are not absolutely absurd. RIM must show investors that we're not just seeing a dead-cat bounce on Blackberry 10 anticipation. Microsoft has to show people it can do a smartphone -- via a partner or solo -- that actually sells.

Apple doesn't have to show us a thing.

Chris is reasonable so I'm not directing the rest of this at him, but, speaking generally, didn't we learn anything from iPad mini? Just about everybody thought the thing was born to lose/destined to fail, especially if it was "expensive." I was one of the lone voices to predict success for a premium-priced, slightly smaller iPad.

The same thinking that put me on the proper path vis-a-vis iPad mini guides my iPhone 6 or iPhone 5S -- whatever they'll call it -- thinking.

Apple owns the market. It has unprecedented mindshare. iPod, iPhone and iPad became instantly enormous pop culture phenomena. More extraordinary than Sony's ( SNE) Walkman or Nike's ( NKE) Air Jordans.

Sadly, I need to keep beating this horse: Apple has no competition! Other than Samsung's Galaxy, name a smartphone that gets large numbers of people excited.

The mindshare argument holds strong until another company comes along and pees in Apple's snow. This fate does not sit on the horizon. Not from Samsung. Not from Microsoft, RIM, Hewlett Packard ( HPQ) or Google ( GOOG).

Apple will reportedly offer a wider selection of iPhones on the next launch, rumored for May/June. Multiple screen sizes as well as a fresh color assortment.

Short-term, this is nothing short of fantastic for Apple. iPhone 6 equals another best seller.

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 that 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 Chris's article, 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.

Rocco Pendola is TheStreet's Director of Social Media. Pendola's daily contributions to TheStreet frequently appear on CNBC and at various top online properties, such as Forbes.

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