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Apple Inc. (AAPL): Can Tim Cook Deliver?

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Source: Apple.

In a new report from Bloomberg today about Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s new Tokyo retail store, some big news almost went under the radar. MacRumors discovered that buried in the report a person “familiar with the matter” told Bloomberg that the Sept. 10 Apple media event is about more than iPhones. In fact, Apple will introduce a new version of its tablet, too, wrote Bloomberg.

Bloomberg has since deleted the reference to the iPad in the article. Addtionally, the always accurate Jim Dalrymple from The Loop has said that there will be no iPads unveiled at the event.

Bummer. Investors could use a big surprise from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). Here’s why.

Can Tim Cook deliver?

It’s tough to shine in the shadow of one of most iconic CEOs the world has ever known. Under Steve Jobs’ leadership, entire categories were revolutionized. Think iMac, iPod, iPhone, and iPad. But what does Cook have under his name? The iPad Mini?

Source: Mashable.

After two years at the helm, investors are wondering whether or not Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) can deliver the same type of revolutionary products under Cook’s leadership. Sure, he’s had a tough job. As Reuters pointed out, he was placed at the helm when the company needed a leader to help Apple transition into the “mature corporate behemoth” that it is today.

When Cook started as CEO, the company’s cash hoard was the hot topic of the time. But initiating a dividend and a share repurchase program wasn’t enough to get investors excited about the stock. To get the Street on board, Cook is going to need to surprise investors (and consumers) with great products.

Even Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s board of directors has said they are concerned about the company’s “pace of innovation,” according to Fox Business Network’s Charlie Gasparino.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has always been about revolutionary products. With about 70% of Apple’s revenue coming from two products — the iPhone and iPad — you can bet the Street has a close eye on Apple’s product line. But can Cook deliver?

Investors and analysts alike must also acknowledge Apple’s very tough year-over-year comparisons, or comps. For the last three quarters in a row, the company’s EPS comps actually declined.

Analysts don’t expect this trend to improve in the next few quarters, either. On average, they expect more EPS declines in both this quarter and the next quarter.

What’s the next game changer?

Though an iPad won’t make it to the stage on Sept. 10, it would be nice to see at least some sort of surprise. Over the long haul, Apple is going to need one at some point to really get the Street excited again. The company needs a jolt to the arm — and Cook needs a flagship product to bolster his reputation.

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