Like a psychic, the bread and butter of most analysts is to make wild predictions to their clients and then, when they don’t come true, pretend like those predictions were never made to begin with. When that fails, another ploys analysts, like psychics, sometimes use is overly vague predictions that could literally be fulfilled by anything.
Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty’s latest bit of soothsaying falls into the latter cam: she claims that after meeting with Apple management recently, she feels quite certain that Apple could release a “killer app” this year. Only one, Katy?
Here’s what Huberty’s take-away from her meeting was:
We believe Apple could charge either developers or users for some of these services, which could boost Apple’s annuitized revenue stream and better monetize its large user base. For example, Apple could offer a streaming music service using a freemium model.
Notice the amount of weasel words here? “Could”, “we believe”, “may”… and yet remarkably little detail.
To her credit, Huberty tries to give the claim validation by roping in the recent iRadio rumors, making it appear as if she is confirming them… but it’s clear that her suggestion of a “freemium streaming music service” is just a hypothesis.
In other words, Huberty has no idea what Apple’s got planned. She says it’s as important as Siri was to the iPhone 4S, which implies it’ll pretty much be the headlining feature.
As for the killer app Huberty expects? The expansion of Passbook into true mobile payments, it seems like. But since we know the iPhone 5S won’t have NFC, it’ll have to do that without any extra hardware/