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Published On: Tue, Sep 9th, 2014

With Apple’s next iPhone about to be unveiled developers join investors’ praise for Tim Cook

Apple CEO Tim Cook has won investors’ and software developers’ confidence, sending the company’s stocks to new highs last month; markets are holding breath as the next iPhone together with wearable devices and a mobile payments system are on the verge of being unveiled.

Markets are holding breath as the newest Apple iPhone together with wearable devices and a mobile payments system are on the verge of being unveiled.

As Apple is unveiling its next flagship, the outlook is brightening for it compared to the previous iPhone released by CEO Tim Cook.

Twelve months ago, Tim Cook introduced two new models. On the market, Apple’s stocks were plunging ant it was ceding ground to Samsung, losing market share. An alarm bell was sounded as to whether Steve Jobs’s innovative zest could be brought further by the company.

Now Apple’s stocks are surging. People are eager to see the new bigger-screen iPhones, together with a wearable device and a system for mobile payments, which are all to step out today. Even the recent stealing of celebrities’ pictures from Apple’s iCloud cannot blunder investors’ enthusiasm.

Tim Cook has established himself as Apple’s CEO. For Samsung, things are becoming tough, as it is having difficulties to scatter multiple devices and offer diverse prices. Apple looks prudent to be sticking to high-end phones alone. In addition, Cook is working to provide investors with products meeting their expectations: a new category and larger-screen iPhones.

Cook’s venue choice for the unveiling of the new product is symbolic: Apple’s headquarters Cupertino, California, at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts. It is the very venue where Jobs unveiled first the Macintosh computer in 1984, followed by the iMac in 1998. Both were crucial for soaring the company’s growth.

Cook still faces a lot of work to keep Apple growing at a rewarding pace. The wearable device is expected to come with features enabling tracking of health and fitness exercise. Together with the mobile payments system, Apple will demonstrate its ability to integrate hardware and software for easy use of its products. The competition with other behemoth Samsung is arduous in mobile devices.

Not only investors but also software developers are upbeat about Apple’s prospects. They think that new iPhones do increasingly more tasks that were previously only associated with traditional computers, and new iOS versions are expected to enable better use of apps.

The early part of this year saw Apple’s renaissance come to pass. The 2013 year-end range of Samsung Galaxy devices seemed formidable. Samsung’s shares soared to 31 percent of the global market, compared to Apple’s not so hefty 15 percent, according to IDC.

On the other end, Apple, was criticized by both analysts and investors for its adherence to a sole phone style coming as a high-end device. Then, the new iPhone 5s came at $199 with a contract, and the iPhone 5c, the less expensive one, sold at $99 with a contract. As unsubsidized purchase, the iPhone 5c came at $549 in the US and at the equivalent of $733 in China; in comparison, Xiaomi’s smartphone and Lenovo’s flagship K900 IdeaPhone were much cheaper. Albeit the 5s and 5c were expected as lower end options, it turned they were high-priced, so disappointment harmed sales.

Then Samsung entered a rough period in its turn, though it looked it would ride the crest at the expense of Apple. Competitors like Xiaomi on the budget side and Apple on the higher end started to squeeze it. Its market share slumped, from 32 percent in the previous year to 25 percent in the second quarter, and Samsung July sales and profits missed analysts’ estimates. It was the time for Apple to enter the market with larger screen phones and regain customers.

Apple’s reports showed steadily augmenting year-over-year sales of iPhones, topping analysts’ estimates. In the first three quarters of the fiscal year, Apple’s sales gain amounted to 12 percent by unit on the basis of new sets. In April, Apple announced the upcoming expansion of its shareholder payout program, with its share repurchasing authorization raised to $90 billion from $60 billion; it also announced a 7-for-1 stock split, and finally a heftier dividend. In the wake of the announcements, Apple’s stocks surged.

Cook has also taken serious pains to boost growth by acquisitions. In May, Apple paid $3 billion to purchase Beats Electronics LLC, a headphones and music streaming service, its largest purchase ever.

At yesterday’s market close, Apple stocks traded 38 percent higher than a year ago, at $98.36. So far for the year, the Apple share gain is 23 percent, surpassing the S&P 500 Index’s 8.3 percent increase.

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