Surprising most, Apple's (AAPL) stock has spiked since Steve Jobs announced he was retiring from the CEO role last Wednesday. It hass been ahead of the Nasdaq, Google (GOOG), and most other comparable tech names.
Is the market that confident in Tim Cook? I don't think that's the reason for the move. It's partly because the uncertainty has now been lifted around the future leadership of Apple. (There was always the chance the board could have named a CEO out of left field, which the market had to discount for.)
It's also partly because the market is looking ahead to what the company might announce in September (or October at the latest). You should pay attention, too. Here's what is likely:
- The new iPhone 5. We know this is coming. We know it will be better than the iPhone 4 (thinner, lighter, crisper). But might it have a few surprises beyond that? Probably, but I don't think it will include a pre-paid option -- yet.
- Clarification regarding the iPhone 4GS. We know this is coming, but what isn't clear is how this is exactly how it's going to be positioned to the market. The big open question centers on how exactly Apple is going to go after the pre-pay market in China and India (and other emerging markets). If they clarify that, there could be a big jump in Apple's price.
- iCloud. I still think this is going to be huge and I'm not even talking about its music and movie rental aspect. Just the photo upload component could drive huge usage for Apple. This is an incredible frustration for most people. They've got their photos strewn around various services or still on their cameras. This could be a big boost for Apple.
That's what's expected. So what might be announced that isn't expected?
- Perhaps a big partnership with Twitter that could help dip Apple's toe in social networking. We are expecting this, but the average user isn't. Ping hasn't done anything. Apple can and should do something in social networking and Twitter might be the right partner.
- More stats on the growth of iPad apps relative to Google, Honeycomb and others. The gulf -- I expect -- is growing enormously.
- More on AirPlay. Apple recently started pushing AirPlay in its U.S. TV commercials. This could be a precursor to an AppleTV push.