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Will Apple's (AAPL) New Devices Boost Flagging iPhone Sales?

Zacks Equity Research

Apple AAPL is set to host its keynote annual event on Sep 10 at Steve Jobs Theater in Apple Park in Cupertino, CA. Per a Reuters report, the invitation depicted a five colored logo of the company, hinting at the widely expected launch of three new iPhone handset models in various colors.

The equivalent of the current base model, iPhone XR, is expected to be called iPhone 11. The updated iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max are expected to be called iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max respectively.

Product Expectations

Per a Bloomberg report, Apple is expected to include a second rear camera, adding features like enhanced portrait mode as well as optical zoom to the iPhone XR successor, iPhone 11.

The Pro versions are expected to have a third sensor upgrade to its rear-facing camera, which is a first for Apple. The new camera system will allow capturing of ultra-wide angle photos and videos in low-light environments also.

Bloomberg reported that all three models are expected to include new multi-angle Face ID Sensors to facilitate easier unlocking of device for users.

Per a 9to5 Mac report, Apple is said to be bringing faster A13 processors to each of the three iPhones, which are likely to power improved computer vision and augmented reality capabilities.

The devices are also rumored to have internal upgrades including a Taptic Engine and a potential USB-C port. Other rumored display features include 3 x OLED Retina display for iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max and 2x Liquid Retina display for iPhone 11.

Per CNBC, the company is also expected to announce fresh details of its subscription streaming service, Apple TV+, which is likely to be launched by the end of this year alongside Disney’s DIS Disney+. Notably, AT&T T and NBCUniversal plan to launch their streaming services early next year.

Apple Inc. Price and EPS Surprise

Apple Inc. Price and EPS Surprise

Apple Inc. price-eps-surprise | Apple Inc. Quote

iPhone Performance & Competition

In fiscal third-quarter 2019, iPhone sales declined 11.8% from the year-ago quarter to $25.99 billion and accounted for 48.3% of total sales. The decrease in sales can be attributed to intense competition from Chinese smartphone makers.

However, active installed base of iPhone reached an all-time high and increased year over year in each of Apple’s top 20 markets.

Nevertheless, competition is intensifying in the maturing smartphone market. Samsung’s recently launched Note 10, Note 10 Plus and Note 10 5G (launched on Aug 7) and Google’s GOOGL upcoming Pixel 4 are expected to provide stiff competition to upcoming iPhone handsets.

Reportedly, Apple’s iPhone 11 series is likely to come with Wireless Powershare, a feature available in Samsung’s Galaxy and Note 10 series and triple-camera array configurations similar to Google’s to-be launched Pixel 4.

However, the lack of expandable storage and head jack in Samsung’s Note 10 series can add to Apple’s advantage this time around. Also, offerings like electronic SIM cards in western markets provide competitive advantage to Apple over the likes of Samsung.

Moreover, we believe Apple’s focus on user privacy is a key differentiator. This provides iPhone a competitive advantage over Android-based smartphones.

Currently, Apple carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here

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