Yesterday's launch of Apple's iPhone 5 has drawn the usual line in the sand among industry commentators.
Between those who champion the smartphone's offering of enough innovation to maintain the brand's popularity, and those who feel the phone offers nothing to stem the growing trend of consumers opting for Android, everybody is predicting a different future for the iPhone 5's market presence.
"Apple is such a major part of the value of the US (even world) exchanges, that they only had to stumble with the iPhone 5 launch and the world stock markets could crumble," said Techmarketview analyst Richard Holway.
"As it turned out," Holway continued, "Apple did more than enough to save the markets from meltdown. Apple shares closed up 1.4 per cent at $670 – close to their all-time high.
"The iPhone 5 looks gorgeous. Thinner, lighter, faster, has longer battery life and a better camera, new maps and navigation, LTE/4G for faster access, better mics and sound, and it costs the same as the old model. Short of a cure for all known diseases and the second coming, it is difficult to know what more they could have done."
With market intelligence firm IDC already predicting a total of 51m iPhones will be sold this year – compared with 37m last year – Holway declares the "iPhone cash-cow... safe for now".
However, Ovum chief telecoms analyst Jan Dawson wasn't as convinced.
"The device highlights the inherent risks involved in Apple's strategy of only releasing one device at a time," said Dawson, "in that it always has to strike a compromise that is most likely to appeal to a wide base of users."
Dawson explained how the iPhone 5 makes this compromise "most dramatically in the increased vertical height" of the phone.
"With many Android and Windows Phone devices now significantly larger than the iPhone 4S and gaining popularity, the pressure has grown on Apple to release a larger device," explained Dawson.
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