Apple boosted by product upgrade expectations

With the next month or so expected to see some major releases by Apple the vendor's share price has moved upwards

Apple’s shares have rebounded some 4% following a spate of rumours on upcoming products and services rebounding after a couple of bad weeks.

Shares have been on the slide since Apple announced its Q3 results on 22nd July 15, slumping nearly 14% $133 to $115.

And then, as if by “magic”, the rumour mill went into full swing, with gossip on the new iPhone, a new Apple Watch, a new Apple TV, a new iPad and a possible TV streaming service all hitting the headlines within a matter of weeks.

iPhone 6s

The iPhone is by far and away, Apple’s largest cash cow and so any significant rumours are bound to have an impact on the share price. By all accounts, Apple plans to unveil the iPhone during on September 9 with a launch pencilled in for September 18.

Kuo’s predictions:

(1) Force Touch will be the biggest upgraded selling point, but also one of the main bottlenecks of the supply chain. Force Touch can enhance user experience due to more input methods and support of handwritten signatures, which is beneficial for expanding in the commercial market;

(2) Screen will remain at 4.7 and 5.5 inches, with resolution the same as existing models. There will be no new 4-inch model;

(3) There will be an additional casing color, rose gold, matching the rose gold Apple Watch Edition;

(4) The camera will have a pixel upgrade, likely to 12 MP;

(5) One microphone will be added near the speaker to enhance voice quality;

(6) The A9 processor with upgraded 2GB LPDDR4 will be adopted;

(7) The bending issue will be improved by using different casing materials and internal mechanical design changes;

(8) If drop test issues can be resolved, the 5.5-inch model will have a limited number of units with sapphire cover lens;

(9) The recognition rate of Touch ID will be improved further in a bid to promote Apple Pay;

(10) Gesture control support; and

(11) It’s expected that mass production will start in mid-to-late August. Total shipments will be 80-90mn in 2015, with a 2:1 ratio of 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch models.

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicts that the next iteration of the iPhone lineup will include the A9 processor with 2GB of RAM, an improved 12-megapixel camera, a new Rose Gold color option and a sapphire cover lens (see box).

But the most significant feature is that of Force Touch, seen on the Apple Watch and the new MacBook.

Apple TV

Then there were rumours that Apple is finally upgrading its television streaming set-top box. The Apple TV has been left by the wayside for some time, but according to BuzzFeed, the Cupertino firm is planning on releasing a revamped box alongside the new iPhones this September.

While there is no solid timeframe, Apple also hinted at the possibility of a full TV streaming service.

Apple executive and renowned music producer Jimmy Iovine told Wired that current TV curation services such as Netflix and Amazon fell short of the mark.

"We all know one thing, we all have different television delivery systems, don't we all wish that the delivery systems were better, as far as curation and service?" Iovine told Wired. "They're all technically good. And Netflix is starting to cross the code because they're starting to make some original content.

“That box helps you none -- it doesn't help. You're on your own. And eventually that will catch them unless somebody digs in and really helps the customer. And entertainment needs that, it needs to live and breathe," he added.

iPad

The iPad has seen sales shrink in recent quarters, thanks in part to the new iPhone 6+, which is encroaching on the tablet’s screen size.

But there are now expectations that Apple is preparing to reveal a new larger ‘Pro’ version of its iPad. Should the rumours prove to be true, the 12-inch iPad could allow Apple to carve out a new niche in the tablet space.

The net result of all the rumours? Stock complied with a 4% bounce in the share price. Many analysts are suggesting that the shares have finally found a bottom. Apple is currently trading at $119.72. 

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