Apple Inc's next-generation iPhone, which CEO Steve Jobs is widely expected to unveil tomorrow, will have to really set new standards in multimedia content and function to wow Wall Street and consumers.
Apple's challenge may be to dream up game-changing innovations, since the iPhone is already an unqualified blockbuster that is the company's main profit growth driver, and its share price hovers near record highs. The bid is made tougher with the early success of the iPad tablet computer, which many say has already created a new market.
Competition from a host of well-received smartphones based on Google Inc's Android operating system is also growing, pressuring Apple to raise the bar even higher.
The "iPhone 4.0 will keep them ahead of the game. Is it as easy as last year to stay ahead? No. I think Android has made huge progress," said analyst Carolina Milanesi.
Jobs takes the stage at Apple's developers conference in San Francisco tomorrow following a hectic public schedule of late, where the public get its first look at the fourth-generation iPhone.
The phone will likely be faster, have more capacity, a better screen and battery life, and a front-facing camera -- all nice additions, but none of which move the competitive needle very much.
Some features that iPhone users have long clamored for, such as multi-tasking, will also be added.