September is at all times an vital month for the market’s strongest identify. In most years, expertise large Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has an enormous occasion to launch the yr’s new set of iPhones, and maybe another services and products. Final week, there was an fascinating report launched in regards to the timing of this yr’s massive day, making me marvel if there’s a little bit of a gross sales drawback for the corporate proper now.
Mark Gurman, who covers Apple extensively for Bloomberg, reported final week that Apple is September seventh for this yr’s main product unveiling. The corporate is anticipated to unveil 4 new iPhones this yr, together with three new variations of its smartwatch, with maybe an opportunity for another units as nicely. Apple has not but confirmed a date for the occasion.
The September seventh date strikes me as a really curious one. First, Apple normally tries to keep away from vacation weeks, so holding the occasion simply after Labor Day does not jive with the same old sample. It is also an enormous again to highschool week in sure areas of the nation, and the primary week of NFL video games, so media protection won’t be as centered on Apple as regular. This may even be a bit sooner than final yr’s launch, which has some fascinating monetary implications. As a reminder, here is what occurred final yr:
- Launch occasion on September 14th.
- Pre-orders started on September seventeenth.
- Telephones formally launched on September twenty fourth.
- Fiscal This fall ended on September twenty fifth.
For the second, let’s assume that the September seventh occasion date is right for this yr’s launch. That might possible imply that pre-orders for no less than some (or all) of the 4 smartphones might begin on the ninth, with the telephones formally changing into accessible on the sixteenth. If that is really the case, it will give Apple an additional week this yr to promote the iPhone in its fiscal This fall quarter, which is slated to finish on September twenty fourth.
This yr’s iPhone line is anticipated to range from earlier years, which makes me marvel how robust gross sales will really be. First, the cheaper SE mannequin bought a brand new model earlier this yr, permitting customers a extra inexpensive possibility on this excessive inflation atmosphere. On the identical time, the non-Professional fashions are anticipated to not see the same old annual chipset improve, which means they’d have final yr’s A15 chip or a modified model. Thus, these telephones wouldn’t get the traditional efficiency improve that the Professional fashions are anticipated to see with the A16 chipset. Apple can be more likely to kill the iPhone mini line in favor of a bigger, 6.7 inch display, non-Professional mannequin. There are additionally ideas that pricing might obtain an enormous enhance, which is sweet for the typical promoting value metric, however a headwind for the variety of telephones bought.
If there’s a fear about iPhone gross sales this yr, or maybe Apple’s complete gross sales within the quarter, an sooner than typical launch will surely assist out the corporate. You’ll have an additional week of recent iPhone gross sales (and probably different merchandise) over the prior yr interval. That could possibly be vital, as the road is presently anticipating greater than 6.3% income development for fiscal This fall because the graphic under reveals. Remember, the stronger US greenback is offering a further headwind for the corporate to beat over prior yr durations.
A fear about iPhone gross sales within the September interval is also logical if you consider these decrease development expectations for the December fiscal Q1 interval. Apple does not have as excessive an estimate bar, so pulling even a billion or two of gross sales ahead into the September interval would not be as a lot of a problem. Additionally, as I’ve continued to level out, this yr’s vacation interval is more likely to be 14 weeks as an alternative of the same old 13 weeks due to how the calendar falls. Thus, Apple is already getting a little bit little bit of development assist for fiscal Q1 as it’ll have some further gross sales time within the interval. While you mix decrease expectations for December plus the additional gross sales time, pulling ahead the iPhone launch begins to make extra sense within the grand scheme of issues.
I point out Apple attempting to fulfill excessive expectations due to what has occurred with its shares lately. Because the chart under reveals, the inventory has gone mainly straight up for the final two months, till pulling again a little bit on the finish of final week. That is probably the most the inventory has been above its 50-day transferring common (purple line) shortly, which might imply a pullback is on the horizon. The inventory additionally final week was the closest it has been to its common value goal since early 2022, with Friday’s end representing lower than $10 of upside to the typical road valuation.
Ultimately, final week’s report about Apple’s iPhone occasion launch timing could seem fairly curious. The corporate seems to be transferring issues up every week this yr, surprisingly holding its main showcase throughout a vacation week. Maybe it is a signal that administration is nervous a little bit about income technology, as this early occasion would enable for further machine gross sales within the fiscal This fall interval the place expectations are for extra development than the December interval. Apple can afford to tug ahead some gross sales this yr, given the fiscal Q1 interval is slated to be 14 weeks. With the inventory close to its all-time highs, buyers expect massive issues, so it is going to be fascinating to see if Apple can ship this yr because the iPhone is likely to be a bit dearer and non-Professional variations could not get the same old chipset enhance.