5. Tim Cook cares more about profitability
When Steve Jobs was running Apple, he certainly cared about profitability. But perhaps more than anything, he wanted his company's products to deliver the most exciting experience out there. Tim Cook is more of a businessman and, according to reports, focuses more on the supply chain and margins than his predecessor. That alone could mean the iPhone 5 could be rather boring this year.
6. Smaller updates are working just fine
If Apple was having trouble selling products that come with incremental updates, the company would almost undoubtedly deliver something major this year. But Apple's iterative updates are working out just fine, and profits are soaring. Why change that recipe?
7. Costs are on the rise
With smartphones becoming so popular nowadays, companies supplying the components are making boatloads of cash. And the more those companies make, the less of a profit Apple might generate. Therefore, you can expect the company to control costs by bringing only incremental improvements to its designs. Sure, Apple has the cash to invest in an octo-core processor, but why do it? Such a component would be too costly at this point.
8. The competition isn't so far ahead
Apple has the luxury of being able to keep up with the toughest competition for over a year before it needs to significantly upgrade its own smartphone. After all, the iPhone 4S, which launched last fall, is still among the most powerful devices on store shelves today, even though some of its competitors have quad-core chips and better graphics. With a simple upgrade, Apple can regain its position at the top of the smartphone space.
9. It's all about the software, anyway
When one fully analyzes the smartphone market, they'll find that success at the end of the day comes down to software. As noted, there are products available now that are more powerful than the iPhone, but it's Apple that sells more smartphones than any other company. A key component in that success is iOS, an operating system that, most agree, works better than Android. That can't be forgotten.
10. It doesn't appear customers care
Customers really don't seem to care if Apple delivers a major update to its iPhone. Every time the company offers up a new device, no matter how small the update might be, sales jump. Apple knows it. Customers know it. And investors know it. And along the way, each party is happy with the result. So, who needs a major update?