Apple Said to Prepare Holiday Refresh of IPhones to IPads
Apple Inc. (AAPL) plans to introduce new versions of the iPhone and iPad in time for the holiday shopping season, seeking to entice shoppers who delayed purchases amid a dearth of new models so far this year.
The new iPhone will be unveiled at a Sept. 10 event, according to a person with knowledge of the plans who asked not to be named because the timing isn’t public. Updated iPad models, including an iPad with a thinner body design and an iPad mini with a high-resolution screen will be unveiled later, two people said. Software for the devices, as well as for Mac computers, will also be revamped, Apple said in June.
The updates will enable Apple to present a refreshed lineup of its top-selling products to consumers ahead of the year-end holiday shopping season. The iPhone and iPad accounted for almost 70 percent of the company’s sales last quarter. The releases come at a critical time for Apple, whose stock has slumped by a third from a record in September amid slowing profit growth and a scarcity of new products.
“To drive growth you need to have that next iPhone and iPad refreshed,” said Brian Marshall, an analyst at ISI Group in San Francisco. He said Apple will probably introduce a less expensive iPhone next month to appeal to budget-conscious customers, especially those in developing markets outside of the U.S. and Europe.
Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook has said the company will introduce new products starting in the fall and “across 2014.” Trudy Muller, a spokeswoman for Cupertino, California-based Apple, declined to comment.
The planned new full-size iPad, with a 9.7-inch screen, will have a body that more closely resembles the current iPad mini, with a thinner bezel than the current version, said the people. It will be the first redesign since March 2012, when Apple introduced a high-resolution iPad with the current shape. The iPad mini being sold now, with a 7.9-inch screen, doesn’t have the same high-definition display featured on the iPhone and larger iPad.
Apple’s share of the tablet market slid to 32 percent in the second quarter, from 60 percent a year earlier, according to market-research firm IDC. Tablet shipments are slowing in anticipation of new models from the company, IDC said last week.
Apple rose 4.8 percent to $489.57 at the close in New York, paring the stock’s decline for the year to 8 percent.
The Wall Street Journal previously reported about the iPad design changes. AllThingsD said Apple would debut an iPhone on Sept. 10.
The new iPhones and iPads will also feature an overhaul of the company’s mobile operating system, iOS 7, which includes changes to e-mail, calendar and other applications, as well as new color schemes and icon designs.
Carl Howe, an analyst at Yankee Group, predicts Apple will garner record sales of the products during the holiday quarter. Other companies tend to move their releases to avoid being overshadowed by Apple, he said.
“This makes it so all eyes are on Apple, and that’s exactly what Apple loves,” said Ramon Llamas, an analyst at IDC. He said Apple will see a big spike in sales after the products debut, during a boom lasting about six months.
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