Apple stock has been rising ahead of the company’s annual fall product launch event. The consumer electronics giant is seen unveiling the iPhone 14 series smartphones and other gadgets at an event in September.
Apple (AAPL) reportedly is gearing up for an iPhone 14 launch that’s at least as big as last year’s iPhone 13 launch. Bloomberg reported Thursday that Apple has told its assemblers to make 90 million of its newest handsets, on par with last year’s launch period. Apple is counting on its affluent customer base to help sustain iPhone sales during a rough economic climate, Bloomberg said.
The Cupertino, Calif.-based company still expects to make about 220 million iPhones in total for 2022, also level with last year, Bloomberg said.
Meanwhile, sales of low-priced and midtier Android smartphones are slumping, analysts say.
Apple Stock Climbs As iPhone 14 Launch Nears
In a positive development, the relative strength line for Apple stock has been hitting new highs as it outperforms the S&P 500. The action is highlighted with a blue dot on daily and weekly MarketSmith charts.
Apple is expected to introduce four version of its iPhone 14, which likely will be incremental upgrades to the current flagship models. The company’s 16th-generation iPhones will be its third-generation 5G-enabled handsets.
Is Apple Recession-Proof?
Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi said Friday on CNBC that the iPhone 14 will show whether Apple is recession-proof. Some pundits made that claim after the company’s better-than-expected June-quarter report.
“Many investors feel, ‘OK, we may have economic weakness going forward, but Apple is perhaps immune to that given the franchise strength,'” he said. Apple’s supposed resiliency still requires further evidence, Sacconaghi said.
“The question is: How do consumers respond to (the iPhone 14 launch)?” he said. “Do they upgrade at similar rates as they have been recently? Or do they upgrade at slower or faster rates?”
Industry speculation has Apple holding its fall product launch event on Sept. 13, Loop Capital analyst John Donovan said in a note to clients Wednesday. However, “there is growing evidence” that Apple might hold the event one week earlier, on Sept. 6, he said. Loop rates Apple stock as buy.
In addition to the iPhone 14, Apple is likely to introduce its Apple Watch Series 8 wearables at the event.
Follow Patrick Seitz on Twitter at @IBD_PSeitz for more stories on consumer technology, software and semiconductor stocks.
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