Is Apple losing its 'cool factor'?

One critic says the mighty Apple will lose its "cool factor" in 2012, as sexy new Android smartphones steal the spotlight.

A new year never fails to bring a flood of predictions from eager crystal-ball gazers. Tech analysts are no exception. Investor's Business Daily's Brian Deagon forecasts that 2012 will be the year that "Apple will lose its cool factor," as new gadgets like the latest Samsung Galaxy smartphones prove to be more exciting than the iPhone. Will Apple really fall from the pedestal of trendiness that it's long occupied?

Yes. Apple is on the way out: Sure, Apple "redefined markets and defined cool" with the iPod, iPhone, and iPad," says Deagon. But now what? "The iPhone is boxy, flat and feeling stale," and "the Samsung Galaxy smartphone seems cooler." As smartphone and tablets become cheaper and more widely adopted, Apple will be overshadowed by the many Android options. Plus, Apple is pinning its hopes on getting into the TV market, but that will be "a tough nut to crack," especially given that Samsung is already dominant in that industry.

Not quite: Sure, iPhones might not be as eye-popping as some Android phones, but "Apple is not going to lose its cool… for a long time," says Dan Rowinski at ReadWriteWeb. The company has "legions of developers" coming up with cool apps for its gadgets, and that's a big advantage. It also has the best marketing around. While it's true that the iPad and iPhone are both due for some big updates, it's "pretty safe to say that Apple will continue being just as cool in 2012 as it has been in previous years."

In fact, Apple has a promising year ahead: Apple won't be on top forever, but it's doubtful that 2012 will be a bad year for the company, says Zach Epstein at BGR. Apple is set to launch a totally redesigned iPhone and "a Siri-fueled HDTV" in the new year — no small feats. Given that the same analyst that predicted Apple would lose its cool also forecast that "Twitter will totter" (huh?) and "BlackBerry will go the way of Palm" (duh), his opinions shouldn't be taken too seriously. What do you think?

- As seen in The Week
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