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Well. Maybe. We're inclined to think that Apple's invention provides at best a technological foundation for that kind of collaboration and that a lot more would be needed to turn it into either a finished iOS app or service, or into a platform for third parties to do the same.
We're not holding our breath.
Seriously, you do have to guess.
Because the stock analyst who assured everyone during a recent CNBC TV interview that the next iPhone, which she thinks is the iPhone 5S, will have a "killer feature" apparently arrived at the conclusion by deductive reasoning.
The analyst is Morgan Stanley's Katy Huberty, who appeared on CNBC's "Fast Money Halftime Report," with host Michelle Caruso-Cabrera.
Tiernan Ray, writing the Tech Trader Daily blog at Barrons.com, picked up on the segment.
According to Ray, Huberty "predicted a big comeback for the company with software features for the iPhone, including a 'killer feature.'"
His transcript of her comments:
"I do believe that AAPL is approaching a bottom. As you have heard, they are talking about returning more cash, and we think they will do that in coming weeks. But people don't own AAPL for that, they own AAPL for innovation.
"You saw the Samsung Galaxy S4 come out last week, that shows you the innovation cards are up for grabs. What is lacking in that product [the S4] is a killer feature.
"We think that's where Apple will surprise this year. This [iPhone] 5S cycle this year will be about a killer feature that drives consumers increasingly to the platform, and that increases the value of those 500 million accounts."
But apparently Huberty didn't say what the Killer Feature is. And Caruso-Cabrera apparently didn't think to ask her. Huberty's reasoning seems to be that the iPhone 5S or Apple "needs" a Killer Feature, so Apple will, you know, create one.
Evan Niu, writing at The Motley Fool, zeroed in on the Huberty's reference to those 500 million accounts. Rather generously, he interpreted her comment to mean that Killer Feature "will involve tapping the 'value of those 500 million accounts,' referring to active iTunes payment accounts with credit cards on file." Niu thinks this, in turn, means doing something about the wonderful world of mobile payments, because "Apple has been surprisingly quiet as mobile players jump on payment solutions, opting instead to merely offer a Passbook app last year that has obvious digital wallet implications."
Huberty's comment provided hilarity for commenters to iClarified's bare-bones post about the interview.
"The killer feature is apple bringing back 'google maps,'" posted Fukran John. Teros posted, cheekily, "Flash player? Lol"
Some were just confused by the whole concept, such as wtf: "wtf is this killer switch? Can anyone please explain?"
And Camfella was resolutely skeptical. "These 'analysts' remind me of those guys at the racetrack always touting a horse in every race. Once in a while they will get one right, and then that's all they will talk about. Meanwhile they've been wrong 80% of the time!"