Morgan Stanley: the iPhone 5S will have a ‘killer feature’

By , Mar 18, 2013

iPhone 5 promo video (back, black, camera closeup 001)

Morgan Stanley’s resident Apple expert Katy Huberty appeared on CNBC’s Fast Money Halftime Report this morning, in a rare TV interview, to field questions on her firm’s current positive buy ratings for both HP and Apple.

Asked about Apple, Huberty—who has an overweight rating on the stock with a price target of $630—says the company is poised for a big year with new software features for the upcoming iPhone, including one ‘killer feature.’

Popular financial blog Barron’s has the transcript of Huberty’s remarks:

“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 [Electronics(005930KS)] 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.”

For a little context here, let’s first take a look at the Galaxy S4. Revealed by Samsung late last week, the handset actually has a number of interesting, never-before-seen features like Smart Pause, Air View and Gestures, and S Health.

But much of the tech world has thus far been unimpressed with the S4’s Swiss Army Knife approach. Wired’s Mat Honan says it’s “completely amazing, and utterly boring,” and The Verge’s Vlad Savov is calling it the Galaxy SIII ‘S.’

Now let’s take a look at the next-gen iPhone. Not much is known about the handset, except for the fact that it’s rumored to be of the ‘S’ variety, meaning it will look a lot like its predecesor, and it should debut sometime this summer.

Of course, for most iPhone users looking to upgrade, hearing that this year’s device is going to be very similar to last year’s isn’t good news. But if Katy Huberty’s right, and the alleged iPhone 5S has a killer new feature, that could change things.

The question is, what could that feature be? Apple has a range of patents covering some crazy stuff, including inductive Smart Covers and squeezable handsets. And notably, we have yet to hear anything about what this year’s iOS 7 will add.

AAPL is currently up 3% today.

What would you want the next iPhone’s ‘killer feature’ to be?

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  • Bambino

    iOS 7 with some actual customization? either that or it better make me food…

    • Ashton Sloane

      Well said. WIDGETS IN NOTIFICATION CENTER..BETTER api availability for apps. better communication btwn apps and notification center needs to be revamped. take a hint from lockinfo/intelli

      • Praveen

        Notification center looks fine. They just need to add NCsettings. That’s the main reason I jailbreaked.

      • John Sklikas

        If Apple gives the option to the devs, then trust me they can make miracles. In the end, it will be your choice if you want to install a widget on your NC like NCSettings.

      • Michael Aulia

        It’d be cooler if they can consolidate same apps on the same line or something. If I have a Whatsapp group chat conversation notification, my screen is filled with that group chats

    • br3akth3lim1t

      ability to to turn off signature verification and have a jailbreak but without the exploits. apple would never do this :( #WeWantAnOpeniOS

      • Kiran Ramischand

        then go android

      • br3akth3lim1t

        I already have Android. >.> I’m multi-platform. I hate Winbl0ws though. Linux all the way! I already have a Nexus 7, and my next phone will probably be a Nexus, not sure yet.

      • Dani Hayes

        An open iOS, not a shitty OS.

    • Joe Jonsen

      ios7 will be the same old boring stuff

      • JJ Schultz

        Your comment bored me

      • bigzjoseph

        hahah yow that’s deep

    • Kevin Soy

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      • Liam Googolplex Merlyn

        I thought there was moderation to prevent this kind of crap?

      • Sebastien

        Yes there is moderation but these spammers are smart. Anytime you see something like that, just FLAG the comment so it appears in the moderation queue. Thanks

      • Liam Googolplex Merlyn

        Ohh I hadn’t realised I could flag comments, although in hindsight, it’s pretty obvious haha.

      • Kurt

        Can you delete it so we don’t hit see comment since it’s waiting for moderation. I keep thinking they are legit comments just with a link.

  • Boss

    They said the same about Siri

    • Morabeza Brockton Ma

      How???? Or should i say WHO???? Lmao

    • Praveen

      Siri was indeed a selling point that time. Other phone were just doing voice controls with certain prefix like ‘Call’ etc.. Siri was more user-friendly. Then came Google now and S-Voice.

      • bigzjoseph

        Siri is cool but sometimes she could be a real bi**h

    • Joe Jonsen

      my siri is turned off…

      • regkilla

        I turned Siri off right away too. Not useful for me.

    • JJ Schultz

      I love siri and use it daily. Maybe your just not smart enough to think of ways to use it. Or u dont exercise or drive so u dont need hands free commands.

      • Anthony Antunez

        Or you know… some of us just don’t use our iPhones while exercising or driving? How does not using Siri make us dumb when we can do everything Siri does on our own?

      • ♋IG legendaryhavoc

        siri is jus suppose to make you lazy she helps you out to find stuff


    • Cameron Chao

      Siri was a killer feature IMO.

  • virgo7663

    we want lots of sensors in iphone 5S

    • JJ Schultz

      Like an idiot sensor. I have one i installed and its going off big time right now

      • Matt Taylor

        Bit out of order! Different people want different things I guess :/

  • Yes Man

    The ability to make me a sandwich.

  • Osama Muhammed

    and i trust apple in this, either they make a whole new move to the hardware and look or make a bigger move in software, apple needs a strong push this year

  • Adam Paulik

    I want more than one “killing” feature!!!

    • Sigurd Bøe

      ^ Upcoming murderer in a few months.

  • Abdullah Adhami

    maybe it could light a cigarite

    • JJ Schultz

      Or it could teach u how to spell cigarette

  • Bill Dunn

    finger print technology, I was hoping a built in laser or taser maybe cordless charging

    • Leviscus Tempris

      The problem with cordless charging is the limitation. You must have the phone within centimeters of the pad. Whereas with the cord you can have it as long as the cord can be and move and hold it and everything. You could say to take the pad with you. But that’s still corded. Unless they can creat a new way to doing things not many people will find the limitation too great.

      I can’t blame you though. It’s an awsome idea!

  • Andreas Jacobsen

    Such high radiation that it “kills” you

  • pegger1

    What makes a Morgan Stanley Apple expert qualified to make this kind of prediction? Does she have inside knowledge of any kind? Or is she just making a prediction just like I could.

    • Falk M.

      Those whose opinions get reported on usually are the ones making the obvious public guesses or have no clue whatsoever.

      Those who actually know shit do so in a lesss in-your-face way.

      • Kurt

        My friend was an international lawyer for a telephone company. He worked directly with Apple on contracts. So he knew exactly what was going on with new phones hitting the market in advance. He told me some things but I didn’t share it as he was under contract not to disclose any information and I respected that (since I was curious what the future be for the iphone)

    • Kurt

      She is only hopeful. Nothing more. Why write an blog post about it?

  • Alexander Novarro

    Feeling the things you touch on the screen!(Apple has the patent and the technology)!

    • Joe Jonsen

      well you wont feel much on that small ass screen

      • Leo

        Hater kid. go buy that crappy S4 that didnt impress no one.

  • Appletiser

    are apple even capable of killer features any more, maybe they can figure out how to make the ambient light sensor to actually dim the screen instead of just brightening it

  • Praveen

    I feel 5S where S stands for Security will be the theme. Like 4S for Siri.

    We could see Fingerprint. That’s a killer feature really. Combined with passboss, lock-code, App store password. Or even Siri can identify whom she is speaking with just by swiping. There would be tons of add-on just from that simple finger printing.

    This should be the killer feature.

    • Michael Aulia

      Fingerprint is a killer feature, but it won’t drive consumers to get the new iPhone. It has to be something else :)

  • Matthew Slesinski

    The fingerprint scanner!

  • Joe Jonsen

    umm not it wont… lol iphone 5S will be a typical “s” model iPhone with the exact same look as the other one but more speed and better camera .. you may get a finger print thingy but i will turn that off ASAP>..

    • Justin Mitaritonna

      Why own Apple products if all you do is trash their latest comings? S models will always be the complete version of the latest model, be glad you get to experience a new iPhone version when they come out while the S people wait.

  • Justin Mitaritonna

    A7 Quad core and new Home button, S = Speed once again and Security this time.

  • Sam Irizarry

    I’m going to become an analyst. I’ll get paid to make up random crap. Easiest job in the world. Especially when you don’t say absolutely anything like this analyst.

    This is the equivalent of saying, “Something big is going to happen in politics this year.” And then when something big happens, you can just say, “Yeah. That’s what I was talking about.” It’s full-proof.

    • Liam Googolplex Merlyn

      It’s a bit like “Talking to the dead” in that respect.

  • JJ Schultz

    I want it to blow me so i dont have to put up with a girls bs

    • Matthew

      you’re nasty

    • Matt Taylor

      Lol, funny s!*t

    • dan

      watch out we got a badass over here

  • Mohamad Amin

    Killing feature? I wonder what that would be. Apple’s Cydia-like store, perhaps?

  • Markus Hudobnik

    More customization for sure… But no winter board. I don’t want to see iPhones with ugly themes because most people have bad taste in themes… Lol. But I would love to see widgets in the notification center, not the homescreen or maybe have one dedicated widget homescreen page. Redesigned stock apps for sure. Would love to see a smaller home button too.

  • Zeljko Nikolic

    i health,ipause,facetime and air gestures maybe?and android virtualization?Haha.maybe siri with all the proxies which already exist and console gameplay on iphone…nothing more to buy.They already bought siri….maybe swipeselection in ios integrated?a killer feature would be th Iphone3d,then the Iphone 3dg then the iphone 4d,then 4ds,then iphone 5d and the iphone 5ds….When Chuck Norris talks to Siri,Siri does not respond,she listens and learns thats why Chuck didnt buy an iphone.Siri opened a garage for him. :-) i like killer features and i think apple i capable of a killer feature but what “is” a killer feature for you?Chuck on screen?

  • ridonkulous

    I’m sure the next “killer feature” will have been on Cydia for the last two years already…………

    • Zeljko Nikolic

      air gestures is maybe new but not all-new.3d or a beamer would be a killer feature or …something else but my dreams wont come true…the battery is draining too fast…maybe they are working to make ghose thermogenerators more efficient and you dont need to charge any ore….that would be the megakillerfeature.

  • Zeljko Nikolic

    the next iphone killer feature for me should be a 3d beamer inside with 3d group video chats.3dfacetime!!!

  • Matthew

    anything that other people don’t have

  • Alexander Novarro

    iPhone 5S… S for Speechless! o/

  • Glorin Chiourea

    It has to be “Finger print recognition”… bb password typing!

  • Geir haukland

    A6 with 6 core for high speed, that would be nice and that boring ios 7 with crap.. lol

  • Yuliang Wang

    What about “Jailbreak at will”?

  • batongxue

    Waiting to be amazed!
    Within half year

  • Devam

    I just want one feature that is– IT CAN BE JAILBROKEN!!

  • Arturo Polanco

    I would like the next iphone with 4.5″ screen, processor 2.0 quadcore, 2gb ram, camera 13 megapixel

  • Chee Yu Yang

    approving cydia in the appstore

  • Mitchell Petrie

    I’d like them to bring the iPhone up to par with the top android phones in terms of power, use a larger capacity battery. iOS 7 that has actually taken note of some of the most popular tweaks like action menu, activator, nc settings, Auxo, browser changer, brightvol, callbar etc…

    Although this wont happen it would be nice, so i guess ill be waiting on an iOS 7 Jailbreak…

  • Hyr3m

    A killer feature like… Siri was? -> FAIL
    Maybe like Apple maps was? -> FAIL
    Haptic? NFC? Meh, everyone else already has that…
    Liquidmetal? Not ready yet, also : Meh.
    Fingerprint reader? don’t make me laugh…

    Chances are the guy bought tons of the stock at 630 after it fell from 709 and he wants to influence people to get the stock back up. Chances are there’s no killer feature or if there is he doesn’t know about it and it’s actually just another gimmick.

  • regkilla

    Fingerprint scanner 😀

  • Sir.Rhommi

    I Really Hope Apple Reads This Blog

  • Ceferino Sanchez

    killer feature? why not 3d display for videos

  • Greg S

    A new UI? 😛

  • The G

    “Beam me up, Scotty” APP Maybe! LOL

  • Visar Abdullai

    the question is for the iphone not for ios right!

    • Visar Abdullai

      “killer feature”??? quad processor or 4gb ram

  • Ryan Northcott

    it’ll bio-metric. fingerprint etc

  • Waltermorgan

    Turn iTunes accounts into a payment facility for a large number of retailers with NFC or some sort of wave and pay ability and an iris/fingerprint security feature. Key would be huge number of pay points worldwide – not few and far between like Passbook thing – at least here in Europe

  • Buddy Couch

    They have cut a deal with Samsung and are going to sell a handset dubbed “Galaxy Iphone 5NoteS?”