Apple enthusiasts are already lining up to get their hands on the new iPhone, set to launch at a September 9 event in Cupertino, California. The devotion of some Apple fans is well and truly ensured, but the love of investors and the market in general is less secure. With Apple looking to prove itself as a continued leader of innovation in the post Steve Jobs era, the technology world eagerly awaits the highly touted iPhone 6, with rumors also swirling of a new iPad and an entirely new product line, the iWatch.
Red Herring takes a look at the last five Apple events, and how the market reacted.
June 2, 2014 – Apple’s Announcement at WWDC
San Francisco, CA – Perhaps in preparation for the unveiling of the much awaited iPhone 6 in September, Apple’s annual announcement at the Worldwide Developer’s Conference in 2014 primarily featured improvements and upgrades to its operating systems. The sequel to OS X Mavericks, dubbed OS X Yosemite, was launched. Of the new features, perhaps most notable was “Continuity,” designed to improve the connection between Macs and iOS devices, allowing sharing of files and added bonuses such as making phone calls from a Mac. Apple also unveiled iOS 8, said to be the biggest release since the launch of the app store.
On May 30, 2014 Apple’s stock closed at $633, and had fallen to $628.65 by the end of the day of Apple’s WWDC announcement on June 2. By June 5, the stock closed at $647.35, going against a noticeable trend over the last decade that has shown Apple’s stock value falling in the lead up to and wake of the WWDC conference each year, usually due to investor disappointment. This year marked the biggest increase in Apple stock in the month before a WWDC event since 2010.
October 22, 2013 – Apple’s Fall 2013 Event
San Francisco, CA – The new iPad stole the limelight of this Fall product event, with a 9.7 inch retina display, razor thin at 7.5mm, and weighing just one pound. Aside from the iPad, Apple also unveiled the cylindrical Mac Pro, described as the “most radical mac ever,” the new Macbook Pro with retina display and an improved processor. The company also revealed that OS Mavericks would be available in the app store for free, and announced next generation iWork and iLife apps.
In the lead up to the event, Apple closed at $521.36 on October 21 and fell to $519.87 on the day of the event itself, October 22. By October 25, the stock price reached $525.96 at close. While the day of the event saw a $2 dip, Apple rebounded in the following days with an overall upward momentum, suggesting investors remained cautiously optimistic about the tech giant.
September 10, 2013 – Apple Special Event
Cupertino, CA – Apple’s highly anticipated ‘Special Event’ of 2013 saw the unveiling, for the first time, of two separate mobile phones: the iPhone 5s and its more colorful counterpart, the iPhone 5c. The iPhone 5c appeared to be Apple’s ‘lower cost’ phone, running at slower speeds and with less advanced technological capability (no fingerprint sensor, less storage capacity, inferior camera), though it had a larger aesthetic range. Meanwhile, the iPhone 5s was met with approval from reviewers.
On September 9, 2013 Apple’s stock closed at $506.17. On September 10, the day of the event, Apple’s stock price fell about 2% to $494.64 and fell by a further 5% in the following days. Investors voiced disappointment at the pricing of Apple’s new iPhones, with hopes of a $400-$500 smartphone dashed with the cheaper 5c model going for $549. In addition, the absence of an announcement of Apple reaching a partnership with China Mobile, the world’s biggest carrier in terms of subscribers and outlet into emerging Asian markets, also influenced investor sentiment.
June 10, 2013 – Apple Event – WWDC Announcement
San Francisco, CA – At the Worldwide Developer’s Conference and Apple’s first address to the press in 2013, the manufacturer announced an array of new products, notably the OS X 10.9 Mavericks platform. It boasted new and upgraded apps such as Safari and Apple Maps, along with better battery preservation and other improved features. On the hardware side, the new MacBook Air models were accompanied by newly designed Time Capsule units and a cylindrically shaped Mac Pro. It was also announced that at 300 million accounts, the iCloud was the “fastest growing cloud service ever.”
On June 7, 2013 Apple’s stock closed at $441.81. On the day of the announcement at WWDC, the price fell to $438.89 at close and dipped down to as low as $428.50 on June 14, suggesting some discontent with investors. The fall in price does follow a decade old pattern of Apple stock value falling in the wake of WWDC, due mostly in part to inflated expectations of investors during the hype leading up the event that are not met by the actual products launched.
October 23, 2012 – Apple iPad Mini Event
San Jose, CA – Apple continued its ‘mini’ product line by introducing the iPad mini, in every way an iPad but can be gripped comfortably in one hand. With a 7.9inch multi-touch display and 10 hour battery life, the pencil thin iPad impressed. Alongside the iPad mini came the fourth generation iPad, improved with high quality retina display, a FaceTime HD camera, and better wireless performance. The event was rounded off with the reinvented 13-inch MacBook Pro, Apple’s most popular Mac.
Apple’s stock stood at $634.03 at close the day before the big launch. By the close of the next day, the price had plummeted to $613.36. Apple fell further in the next three days and the closing price was $604.00 on October 26. Analysts suggested the iPad mini did not live up to pre-event expectations, while markets were particularly concerned about the $329 price tag on the device that well exceeded the range of its competitors.