Apple (AAPL) recently unveiled an upgraded iOS 7. The two most striking improvements in the iOS 7.1 happen to be the inclusion of CarPlay support and fixes for the bug known as the "black/white screen of death" that had caused many Apple iOS devices to crash in the recent past.
However, the CarPlay feature, which enables iOS integration with the user’s in-dash stereo will be available on selective models of Mercedez-Benz, Volvo and Ferrari.. Moreover, iPhone 5s, 5c and 5 owners who own cars that support CarPlay will be able to use the feature.
Additionally, the updated version will run better on iPhone 4 and the older versions of iPad. It will also offer improved Touch ID fingerprint recognition and a new camera feature specially designed for 5s users to automatically enable high dynamic range (:HDR) mode.
Further, the calendar app has also been tweaked and would enable users to see appointments from a monthly view of the calendar. Holiday lists for many countries have been added too. Siri too has been updated with the addition of more natural sounding new voice options including Mandarin Chinese and British and Australian English.
Apple recently launched CarPlay and there were rumors of it launching a wearable device called iWatch too. We believe that Apple’s intention to extend its foothold into new product categories such as healthcare, wearable devices and cars in the near term will drive growth and profitability going forward.
Apple’s loyal customer base, international expansion and a solid cash position are expected to aid long-term growth. However, increasing competition from the likes of Google (GOOG), Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) and Microsoft (MSFT) in most of its major product segments, higher operating expenses and increasing legal complexities are headwinds.
Currently, Apple has a Zacks Rank # 3 (Hold).
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