Kicking off today — and going all week long — is Apple’s AAPL Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), with the keynote address taking place at 10am PT from Apple Park, the tech-giant’s headquarters in Cupertino, CA. Being the first (and hopefully only) WWDC conducted during a global pandemic, this year’s event will have no attendees — it is a digital-only live stream, and it will be a free event open to the general public. (Normally, visitors would be required to buy tickets north of $1500.)
Among other things, this year’s WWDC will likely get a preview on Apple’s 5G products scheduled for release this fall, which will widen the possibilities for new applications on the iPhone and through the company’s $150 billion app store, which currently supports around 23 million developers. Developers will also be paying close attention to plans of Apple’s in-house ARM-based chips to replace those from long-term supplier Intel (INTC), news of which came out last week.
Apple may also unveil a new iMac this week, and analysts will be looking for faster performance and reduced power consumption, as new products are expected to implement iPad Pro Design language. Developers will also be looking for news on iOS 14 and watchOS 7.
The company faces uncommonly heavy scrutiny these days, however, as regulators and developers object to business practices at Apple, most specifically regarding its App Store. The European Union has already opened antitrust investigations against the company, and major app developers like Spotify SPOT complain about Apple’s slice of the pie from app services. But Apple’s operations are so massive, it would likely be very risky to challenge to company on these matters, less they be cut out of the App Store market altogether.
Apple shares are plateauing around all-time highs north of $350 per share, up 17% year to date, and +77.25% over the past year. The company has not missed earnings expectations in the last 16 quarters, with an average quarterly surprise over the trailing 4 quarters around 10%. Apple is currently a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company, with a Value-Growth-Momentum score of A. The stock is up slightly in Monday’s pre-market, where futures are in the green across the board.
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