Traders Blog

Launching the iPhone XS and more, as it happened

Apple’s CEO Tim Cook took to the stage at the Steve Jobs Theater yesterday morning in California for the company’s hotly anticipated launch event.

The whole thing was streamed on Apple’s website and on Twitter, but here we’re going to be highlighting some of the most important announcements and the expected impact of these on the company’s stock.

The latest Apple Watch compared

Everything about the latest Apple Watch has been redesigned and re-engineered, according to Apple’s COO Jeff Williams. The screen’s over 30% larger although the device itself has become slightly thinner.

This new series 4 Apple Watch also reflects a slight shift in Apple’s intended usage of the device. Mr Williams pointed to three ‘cores’ for the Watch: connectivity, fitness and health. These differ somewhat from Mr Cook’s original priorities at the first launch of the Watch, when he combined fitness with health and made timekeeping the third main function of the device.

Sure enough, new apps were announced that are meant to support the expansion of the Watch’s intended function. The app Breathe, which comes as a watch face, might be handy for traders to de-stress… Of interest was also the monitoring of heart rate which has been approved by the FDA in the USA.

Pricing starting at €400 for the GPS version of the latest Apple Watch is pretty reasonable, we reckon, considering the circumstances. This is especially true if Mr Williams’ claim of day-long battery life turns out to be accurate in practice.

Apple's latest iPhones unveiled yesterday

The announcement of the iPhone XS in two sizes had been pretty widely known for some time from rumours online, and there weren’t too many surprises.

Announcing the latest handset, Mr Cook also noted that the two billionth iOS device is also about to be shipped: this is the latest in an enormously successful line of mobile devices.

Coming in a range of colours and being more waterproof were probably the only two points not picked up on by the rumour mill. Still, from watching the event we were still taken aback by the iPhone XS Max.

A 6.5-inch display is really big for a mobile – the biggest ever on an iPhone, in fact.

iPhone XS Max's giant screen

Apps are also billed to launch up to 30% more quickly on the latest line of iPhones, but other than these announcements and getting a closer look at what the devices officially look like, there wasn’t much to surprise in the announcements. The third new phone unveiled was the iPhone XR, essentially a compromise screen-wise between the XS and the XS Max.

At the end, there were no major upsets of expectations. You could say that traders of CFDs on Apple’s stock (AAPL.US) were in the end pretty neutral about the whole thing. AAPL.US shed a couple of dollars to close at $220.91 last night.

The XR being released in October and starting at $749 for pre-order is a boon, possibly giving more mass-market appeal for the Apple’s phones in countries like China. The risk of course now is the ongoing trade dispute between the USA and China.

Trump's trade wars aren't good for Apple

Apple depends on China for manufacturing its products, but increasingly China’s also a lucrative market for selling these. The possibility of more tariffs imposed by the USA is certainly not good if you’re wanting AAPL to keep doing better.

Even though American tariffs themselves aren’t likely to have a very big effect on Apple, any Chinese retaliation might. Some analysts are predicting about a 5% downside risk for Apple’s stock if trade disputes continue to escalate. Looking further ahead, Apple’s next earnings report is due on 1 November.

Really though we’re talking about a trillion-dollar company launching the latest and most advanced handsets in arguably the most successful series of smartphones ever made. The news might not have been surprising, but in this case unsurprising’s likely to be good for Apple’s shares over the next few months.


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