Despite the bearish narrative around some parts of the US market, Apple’s share price has held up reasonably well, significantly above its June lows, and finished yesterday modestly higher ahead of last night's highly-anticipated Apple event.
Apple event launches iPhone 14 and new watch
Expectations around yesterday’s 'Far Out' production launch were high, with the launch of the new iPhone 14, as well as a new Apple Watch Ultra model. The iPhone update turned out to be a minor one, with the company announcing updates to the two regular and two Pro phones, while phasing out the mini.
The main upgrades are enhancements to the camera, and a satellite messaging feature, which allows users to send SOS messages when there is no mobile connection. The new phones will get a 48 mega-pixel camera, as well as a low power mode screen, while the new Pro phones will get a faster chipset, the A16, as well as a new display with thinner bezels and a more active screen area.
Apple also launched a new Watch called the Ultra, which is more durable and aimed very much at the outdoors market, adding body temperature tracking, car crash detection and a new low power mode. This will be priced at $799 upwards. Apple also launched new AirPod Pro earbuds with better audio and a find my device feature, which will cost $249.
Price freeze could hit margins
There was some surprise that the prices for the new phones were left unchanged which suggests that Apple are acutely aware that the price points for its products are also susceptible to the cost-of-living crisis. We've already seen some evidence of this last month when Apple discounted some of its iPhone 13 products in China.
The new iPhones will go on sale on 16 September. There were no updates to the iPad rather disappointingly.
The big question as Apple looks towards what tends to be its most lucrative quarter heading into the Thanksgiving and Christmas period, is whether these relatively minor updates will be enough to tempt people to upscale their Apple experience. There is also the question as to how much of an effect the freezing of prices will have on its profit margins.