Apple's iPhone 5 bigger, faster but lacks "wow"
By Poornima Gupta and Noel Randewich
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Apple Inc's new iPhone goes on sale on Friday with a bigger screen and 4G wireless technology, as the company seeks to safeguard its edge over rivals like Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and Google Inc.
The iPhone 5 fulfilled many of the expectations laid out by gadget geeks and technology analysts ahead of its Wednesday unveiling but offered few surprises to give Apple shares -- already near record highs -- another major kick.
"There is not a wow factor because everything you saw today is evolutionary. I do think they did enough to satisfy," said Michael Yoshikami, chief executive of wealth management company Destination Wealth Management.
Other industry analysts speculated about what else was in Apple's product pipeline ahead of the crucial year-end holiday season, especially since the company stayed mum about an oft-rumored TV device or a smaller iPad.
The consumer electronics giant that in 2010 popularized tablet computing with the iPad has given no hints on whether it plans a smaller version to match cheaper tablets from the likes of Google or Amazon.com Inc.
"We would really like to see the iPad Mini in the product offering for the all-important holiday quarter. They still have time," said Channing Smith, co-manager of the Capital Advisors Growth Fund. "As soon as we see that, we will have more conviction about the stock heading into the final quarter."
Apple shares ended the day up 1.4 percent at $669.79.
The latest iPhone comes as Apple faces competition beyond current key competitors Samsung and Google. Late entrant Microsoft Corp is now trying to push its Windows Phone 8 operating system as an alternative to Apple and Android, the most-used smartphone operating system in the world. Continued...