After more than a year of speculation and anticipation, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) unveiled the iPhone 5 to the world last week.
Rumors have been flying about the features the iPhone 5 could include, but now they’re official. Apple’s latest-and-greatest smartphone is thinner and lighter than previous models, it has a 4-inch retina display, faster download speeds, a longer battery life and the ability to take panoramic photos and record video in HD.
While many in the tech community applauded the upgrades, others were disappointed that Apple didn’t include Near Field Communication (NFC) on the phone, a technology which makes it simpler to make transactions, share content, and connect to other phones via touch. Others are flat out angry that the phone’s larger size makes purchase of new accessories and equipment mandatory.
Mobile marketing firm Velti totaled the cost to consumers (think an all new screen protector, case, sound dock, USB power adapter, car charger and more) and put the added cost at $411.80—yikes!
From a market standpoint, while there’s no doubt that the iPhone 5 announcement energized the market (ahead of the Fed’s QE3 confirmation, which brought a full-on rally), but ultimately, it was an emotionally-driven response that I don’t expect to have a lasting impact on the direction of the NASDAQ (where Apple makes up 12%) or the S&P 500 (where Apple is 5%).
Instead, I think Wall Street will focus on margin pressure in the highly-competitive smartphone and tablet markets, and even on other products, like the coming iPad Mini and Apple TV.