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Apple needs more than iPhone 5 to stay on top: Analysts

Published on Sep 13, 2012 5:36 PM
A notice (R) providing information on ordering the iPhone 5 is displayed at a Tokyo electrics shop on Sept 13, 2012. -- PHOTO: AFP

TOKYO (AFP) - Asian mobile carriers look set to cash in on the iPhone 5 and its superfast speeds, but the model is not the game-changer that Apple needs if it to remain top of the heap, analysts said on Thursday.

The phone's use of Long-Term Evolution (LTE) wireless technology will allow carriers to increase their charges and boost profits as existing users download more content and smartphone non-converts are tempted to take the plunge.

But despite some new software, relatively minor tweaks to the hardware and an operating system that is starting to show its age risk leaving tech titan Apple trailing competitors such as South Korea's Samsung, and Google.

"The new iPhone will be Apple's most successful smartphone to date," said research firm Ovum from Melbourne. "However, without a redesign of the iOS user experience and underlying software platform in the next two years, Apple will find itself in a position similar to Nokia and RIM... with outdated smartphone platforms."

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