The weak Apple Inc. stock price performance in the run-up to the September 7 release of the next iPhone generational updates reinforces Breitbart News’ expectation that the iPhone 7, without a truly “disruptive” innovation, could be a major dud.
Apple’s $589 billion stock market capitalization is the largest in the history of the planet, because the iPhone has been the most profitable product in the history of the planet. But with about 60 percent of sales coming from iPhone, Apple’s financial success or failure revolves around its ability to produce stunning new technology that so amazes their customers that they upgrade their smartphones to incrementally smarter iPhones each year.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) reported 40.4 million iPhone units sold in the third quarter ending June 2016, versus 51.2 million sold during the same period the prior year. Although that was down substantially, the performance slightly beat the 40 million expected by Wall Street analysts.
But 18 percent of the unit sales in the third quarter were newly introduced mini iPhone SEs, which are really just a shrunk and repackaged iPhone 5. Without the SE, which sold for about 60 percent of the average price of the $730 for an iPhone 6S, Apple’s smartphone sales would have fallen by 35 percent to about 33.1 million units. Such a shocking sales collapse would have devastated Apple’s stock price.
Apple stock has been underperforming the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index of large stocks since January 2015. That followed the wildly successful introduction of the iPhone 6 on September 9, 2014, and the sale of a record 74.5 million iPhone 6 smartphones over the next three months. In January 2015, Apple reported an $18 billion net profit, which topped the $15.9 billion record profit by ExxonMobil in the second quarter of 2012, according to S&P.
But since Apple’s all-time high of $133 per share the month after the record earnings, Apple’s shares fell by 33 percent to a low in May 2016. Over the last three months, Apple shares have rallied in expectation of the release of the iPhone 7, but the stock is still down 19 percent from its February 2015 high.
The most compelling specification for the iPhone 7 will be a buttonless design that allows a slightly bigger 5.8 inch screen featuring an OLED display and a 1mm reduction in thickness. We also expect an improved 13 megapixel primary iSight camera with 8 megapixel secondary one.
To stay competitive with Samsung’s water and dust resistance, we believe that the Apple iPhone 7 will be “ruggedized” with a sapphire glass face on its metal chassis. But this should be seen as a huge disappointment, since Apple was rumored earlier to include a patented all-glass exterior body in the iPhone 7, code named “Godzilla Glass.”
Such a design, according to Paulo Santos at Seeking Alpha, would appear as a seamless phone with an edge-to-edge display yielding an “unparalleled luxury feel.” But the “disruptive” product now appears to be delayed until at least late 2017 and the iPhone 8.
With a 32GB iPhone 7 expected to be priced at between $800 to $900, Apple is attempting to convince its own customer “ethosphere” to upgrade to a non-disruptive product that has an average selling price that will be about 65 percent higher than the very attractive Samsung Galaxy S7 edge.