Tim Cook's Time To Shine

Tim Cook finally gets his chance to stride out from under Steve Jobs' shadow, and he could not have picked a better time or device to mark his unofficial debut as Apple Inc's CEO. The latest generation of the iPhone -- still the smartphone industry's gold standard after four years -- is expected to see the light of day this Tuesday, just in time for the holidays.


Tim Cook's Time To Shine

Even in a dismal economy, consumers should again line up in droves for a souped-up device that also marks Cook's first major product launch since taking over from Jobs in August. The so-called iPhone 5 is widely expected to have a bigger touchscreen and faster processor than the current iPhone 4, which helped the company stay a step ahead of rivals in an increasingly competitive smartphone market.

Its challenge will be to "wow" consumers with yet more game-changing innovations and top itself. The aging iPhone 4 is still an unqualified blockbuster: with more than 20 million sold in the third quarter that ended June 25 alone, it is likely to become the world's top-selling smartphone.

"Consumers view Apple products as a must-have," said Channing Smith, co-manager of the Capital Advisors Growth Fund, which owns Apple shares. "Apple phones and products have become almost a necessity. We don't expect them to falter."

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