Here Comes the Apple Product Cycle Refresh

 | Aug 16, 2013 | 8:00 AM EDT  | Comments
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There's a good reason why Carl Icahn is excited about his ownership in Apple (AAPL).

Even after yesterday's market selloff, the Nasdaq is still up big time for 2013, up 19.4% as of this morning. 

And Apple? It's still down 6.4% on the year. It's not every day you find a market leader lagging 25% behind the market.

The culprit, of course, has been the long gap between new products. The market got overexcited on the last product refresh and then the cupboard was bare.

The long delay before the next product refresh made Wall Street analysts and investors wring their hands. The competition came out with newer phones that seemed better. CEO Tim Cook made speeches where he tried to keep people excited, but didn't want to reveal too much in the product roadmap. It ended up being more frustrating for investors to hear these neverending teases from Cook.

The big thing was that this long delay in products fed into the dominant theme that people want to talk about with Apple: that it's no longer as innovative without Steve Jobs.

This is an irrefutable argument, until you actually start shipping products that wow people.

As we move into the fall, we're getting ready to finally see some new ones.

The annual update of the iPhone is likely coming with the 5S which is rumored to have fingerprint swiping and a totally revamped iOS 7 overseen by Jony Ive.

We're likely to also see a cheaper iPhone, the 5C, to go after the emerging economies that haven't yet totally shifted over to smartphones from feature phones.

We can also expect the standard upgrades of iPads, Minis and Macs.

Then we finally start to get into the totally new products, which Apple likely has up its sleeve. The big one is TV. The consensus opinion seems to be that this will finally come by the end of the year.

What about the iWatch? The wearables market is starting to heat up with the Fitbit Flex, Jawbone Up and Nike FuelBand. Apple surely will make the biggest splash yet in the space. But most aren't expecting an Apple band to arrive for another year. We'll see.

Then you have the possibility of some unknown and unexpected product.  Could Apple sneak one on us? These days, given Apple's size and its reliance on its suppliers, it seems to be impossible to keep a new product secret.

Yet, Tim Cook has teased the idea of a very busy fall.

The stock is already up 25% since the end of June as people start to look ahead. Expect that continue as we lead up to the iPhone announcement on Sept. 10.

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