Katy Huberty’s note to investors on Thursday saw the Morgan Stanley analyst opining that Apple could debut new internet-based services as well as a “killer app” later this year. The comments follow her recent meeting with Apple management.
In the near term, Huberty said Apple could make a surprise announcement at the upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference in June regarding a new type of internet service such as streaming music or a mobile payment system. She went on to say that Apple Internet Software and Service chief Eddy Cue is believed to be working to improve existing services like iCloud and Maps, but at the same time is planning to launch new initiatives.
“We believe Apple could charge either developers or users for some of these services, which could boost Apple’s annuitized revenue stream and better monetize its large user base,” Huberty wrote. “For example, Apple could offer a streaming music service using a freemium model.”
Huberty also pointed to the recent hiring of Kevin Lynch as a sign that the company may be working on a new project. Lynch led subscription-based services and wireless device development at Adobe
It’s widely rumored that Apple is working on an internet radio service, ‘iRadio,” however disagreements over royalties are said to be holding up the services introduction. While it was reported last week that Apple was nearing an agreement with Warner Music, and Universal Music Group, no official announcements have as yet been made.
Huberty expects earnings to increase later this year with the debut of the “iPhone 5S” and a possible low-cost model iPhone. New carrier agreements with Japan’s NTT Docomo and China’s China Mobile are also seen as catalysts.
She also mentioned a “killer app” much like Siri was for the iPhone 4S. Huberty offers up mobile payments as such a “killer” example.