Jon Friedman's Media Web
Apple's iPhone 5: Put up or shut up6/8/12 6/8/2012 (MarketWatch)
NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- Put up or shut up.
That sums up my attitude toward
My MarketWatch colleague Therese Poletti took a look at the chatter about the (unlikely) possibility that Apple (AAPL) will introduce the new phone next week. Consumers, Wall Street analysts and geeks alike are obsessed with the prospect. Read about what's expected at Apple's developer conference next week.
And why not? The iPhone has revolutionized telecommunications, transformed Apple's earnings and changed the ways that consumers value their gadgets.
And yada yada yada.
What really matters now is whether Apple can keep up the iPhone mania. The introduction of the new phone has all of the ballyhoo of a bad movie. It sparks many breathless questions, such as these four:
-- Will the iPhone 4S's Siri feature get an upgrade? If you've perused this column recently, you'd remember that I was not a Siri fan at all. The hype surrounding Siri -- Apple's computerized phone voice which supposedly finds answers for users' routine questions -- initially intrigued me. The television commercials depicting movie and TV stars frolicking at home with Siri reeled me in and I ultimately bit the bait. I'm sorry I did because Siri is a waste of my time. Read "Apple's iPhone hype: Siri is all hot air."
• Can Tim Cook move aggressively to escape Steve Jobs's shadow? The Green Bay Packers couldn't replace their legendary coach Vince Lombardi. Nor could UCLA men's basketball make fans forget Coach John Wooden. Following a legend is a thankless task. The mixed reviews for Siri made some observers question whether Jobs would have done a better job with it than Cook of presiding over the feature. Now, the pressure will be squarely on Cook to show that the iPhone remains the most innovative and successful product around.
• Does Apple still have a supreme buzz? Before Jobs died last October, Apple stood for something unique. It was a stock-market juggernaut, a pop-culture icon, a technology wonder and a glittering machine of an operating company. It was The Corporation on the Hill, a monument to excellence that made every rival marvel at its splendor. Will Cook's Apple inspire the same sort of awestruck envy? The success of the iPhone 5 will go a long way toward clarifying the matter, though no one seems to have a clue about when this will be announced -- or even if it will be called the iPhone 5.
• Will Wall Street stay in love with Apple? Again, the success of the iPhone will make a difference. So far, Cook can stick his chest out to shareholders and point to Apple's recent stock-market prowess. From the Oct. 5, 2011, close of trading, the day when Jobs passed, to June 6, Apple's stock has soared 51%. Yes, the broad market has performed well, too. Wall Street will continue to monitor Apple's stock-market progress under Tim Cook.
MEDIA WEB QUESTION OF THE DAY: Does Apple have the same buzz today that it had in Jobs's heyday?
What do you think? Feel free to post your comment below.