Apple (AAPL) reports its fiscal year third-quarter earnings after the bell. The worlds largest company by market capitalization is expected to report $10.35 per share on $37.2 billion in sales but the real news, as always, will center around what they have in the pipeline for the balance of the year.
According to Porter Bibb, managing partner at MediaTech Capital Partners, Apple results should be better than fine. Bibb says Apple has had a "phenomenal" quarter and expects the company to report growth of greater than 50% or $11.68. As for what's coming for rest of the year Bibb says to look for a new (smaller) iPad for the back-to-school period as well as a sleeker, faster new iPhone sporting a dramatic correction for one of Apple's rare misstep features.
"They've finally solved the problem of Siri," says Bibb. "Siri is going to blow everyone's mind with the effectiveness and the wonderful, eclectic responses you're going to get from this mysterious voice inside your iPhone." The current iteration of Siri has largely been a bust as shoddy voice recognition and other snafus have made the feature more of toy than utility. Siri may get buyers into the tent but a new phone will likely need something else to convert stubborn iPhone holdouts.
As for the long hyped and debated iTV, there isn't much reason for Apple bulls to expect or even hope for anything dramatic. "I'm not sure there is ever going to be a need for Apple TV," he says, or any other smart television, for that matter. The function of a smart set would presumably involve the ability to show streaming content on a big box. Between the existing Apple TV and the airplay feature already installed on iPads, users can do that already. Maybe Apple could reinvent the television the way they did the smartphone but it would require wildly outside the box thinking to do so and it may not be worth the effort.
What Apple can do in Bibb's mind is keep working on the content side. Right now Apple is taking a huge bite of the profits on movies and videos. It's a relationship based on the relationship developed with the music industry at the beginning of the century. Video content producers are loathe to sign up on such terms and are likely to demand a bigger cut, particularly as Google's (GOOG) Android platform is built out. Bibb says Apple needs to cement its relationships with the studios and publishing industry to solidify its lead in devices.
Don't look for the product line to expand further on the mobile side, Bibb says Apple has all the tools they need. "iPad is the template for the future... I don't think they're going to come up with a new machine any time soon that's going to obsolete the iPhone and the iPad."
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