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The next version of the iPhone will be home to a killer software feature, a noted analyst claims, amid industry sniping that the iOS operating system that powers the handset is looking a mite tired.

Yesterday, Apple was on the receiving end of a broadside from BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins over iOS, which he implied had become superannuated since launching in 2007.

However, that’s something Apple is about to address under the aegis of the company’s freshly incumbent head of software design and long-time industrial design chief Jonathan Ive, it seems. Or at least it is, according to Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty.

In an interview with US broadcaster CNBC, Huberty predicted that the next version of the software will be home to just the kind of killer feature that she claims Samsung’s Galaxy S4 lacks.

She said: “You saw the Samsung Galaxy S4 come out last week, that shows you the innovation cards are up for grabs.

“What is lacking in (the S4) is a killer feature. We think that's where Apple will surprise this year. This (iPhone) 5S cycle this year will be about a killer feature that drives consumers increasingly to the platform.”

Quite what form this could take is anyone’s guess right now. But it’s hard to see Apple adopting the kind of eyeball-tracking technology and floating-touch gestures that are front and centre on the Galaxy S4.

That’s mostly because the tech is still at a fairly early stage of development. But also because that kind of purportedly gimmicky user interface tweaks would surely be anathema to such an arch adherent of minimalism such as Ive.



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