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Brand expert: Apple needs to 'step up or shut up'

By Oliver Joy, CNN
updated 6:45 PM EDT, Tue July 23, 2013
While the iPad still leads the way, the tablet-computer market has become a more diverse and competitive one in the past year or so. Users looking to upgrade from their smartphone screen, or get simpler than a laptop, have options that include Apple's offering, as well as new designs from Samsung, Google, Microsoft, Nokia, Asus and others. While the iPad still leads the way, the tablet-computer market has become a more diverse and competitive one in the past year or so. Users looking to upgrade from their smartphone screen, or get simpler than a laptop, have options that include Apple's offering, as well as new designs from Samsung, Google, Microsoft, Nokia, Asus and others.
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple is experimenting with iPhone screen sizes
  • California-based Apple's stock price has dropped 40% over the past 10 months
  • Gabay believes rivals, notably Korean-technology company, Samsung, are starting to gain ground

(CNN) -- It's time for Apple to "step up or shut up" when it comes to launching new products, according to brand expert Jonathan Gabay.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple is experimenting with iPhone screen sizes larger than the current four inches while also trying out larger iPads with a gigantic 13-inch display. The rumors, whether true or not, are "typical Apple" before a big earnings report, according to Gabay, who is an author and speaker on brands.

Following flat smartphone sales and no low-cost product on the market, shareholders are bracing themselves for a heavy drop in profits when the company reports fiscal third-quarter earnings on Tuesday.

The California-based tech giant has failed to launch any new products in the last three months and Gabay believes rivals, notably Korean-technology company Samsung, are starting to gain ground with models such as the Galaxy S4 providing a cheaper alternative.

Apple profits fall but beat expectations

He told CNN: "I think that since the demise of [Steve] Jobs people have been concerned about what will happen to the Apple brand. People have been anticipating something that will show that Apple is still original."

Gabay said the pressure is mounting on Apple boss Tim Cook -- who took over as chief executive officer in 2011 following the death of Jobs, the company's founder -- to come up with a product that will inject life back into the company.

He added: "The pressure is definitely there. People are looking at price as well as technology, given the economic times we're in. That gives Apple a bit of an issue because they've always been high-end market."

"I think he [Cook] has done a great job organizing the company. But I think now people are saying 'time's up.'"

The company's problems have been well-documented over the last year. The company's stock price has dropped 40% over the past 10 months and in April Apple announced that earnings fell year-over-year for the first time since late 2003.

However, the company is still expected to post $35 billion in sales and $6.9 billion in profit. Apple is currently the sixth largest U.S. company measured by revenue, and its sales are expected to grow by 9% in 2013.

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