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Apple reveals 5G-enabled iPhone 12, HomePod Mini

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On Tuesday, Apple revealed numerous new tech products that will be rolling out this fall, including the highly anticipated 5G iPhone 12. In addition, the tech giant revealed an iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12 Pro and a new HomePod Mini. Yahoo FInance’s Dan Howley joins The Final Round to break down the details.

Video Transcript

JEN ROGERS: A big story, though. Apple driving this market, coming out with the latest unveil on their product line, their suite of iPhones. The stock was up some 6% yesterday. We're seeing it off here just about 3%. Of course, that hits the Dow. That hits the NASDAQ. That hits the S&P. This is our big, big cap.

I want to bring in Dan Howley, who has been watching all of this. Sometimes you used to get to go out there. Now they don't even do that anymore. So you haven't gotten to touch anything. What is the most important part of the Apple news today? Is it the 5G of it all, or is there something else in there?

DAN HOWLEY: I think it's got to be the 5G. You know, there's a few different things that Apple has done here. They announced a new phone, but there's four of them, rather than three or two. And I think that is something worthwhile to point out because they recognize that people don't necessarily want a giant phone.

So they have a 5.4 inch display now for the iPhone 12 Mini. The iPhone 12 and the iPhone 12 Pro both get 6.1 inch displays. And then the Pro Max gets the largest display on an iPhone ever at 6.7 inches. So that's the one I want because I just like big screens.

But outside of that, yeah, it really has to be kind of the 5G aspect of it because these are the first devices with 5G built in [INAUDIBLE] across the board where, you know, last year, we were seeing manufacterers like Samsung put them in their higher end devices, but not their entry level devices. Apple has not really done that here. The SE doesn't count because it was out before the transition to 5G.

And then, kind of the comments that Apple and Verizon made together-- Verizon obviously our parent company. But you know, when we were going into this, it was looking like AT&T and T-Mobile, they had the lead as far as 5G deployment goes because they had nationwide networks. But they didn't have that ultra wide broadband that Verizon offers. Verizon just didn't have that nationwide network, though.

So now what Verizon did as part of this announcement was announce that they have a nationwide 5G network, as well as the ultra wide broadband. Now it's important to point out that as much as the ultra wide broadband gets talked about, the distance that it can actually travel is very short. So what you're really going to ride on most of the time is that nationwide 5G, not the ultra wide broadband.

Think of ultra wide as going maybe like a [INAUDIBLE] if that. Most of the time, you'll be on the standard 5G. And that's still going to be a lot faster than 4G, but not that, you know, astronomical number. I think we were talking about 4 gigabits per second at the event for the iPhone.

But I think 5G is really kind of the big announcement here, the fact that Apple, like I said, rolled it out across the board. And then, you know, they also have these new cameras in the phones. The big thing that people want when it comes to a phone is screen, battery, camera, and then if there's a new kind of cellular technology, obviously, they want that. So they're getting all of that out of these new phones.

And importantly, for the 12s, the 12 Mini and the regular 12, they get the same type of display, the super AMOLED display-- or sorry, super retina XDR display that comes in the Pros now comes in those entry level iPhones. So that's an improvement.

And then they also talked about this four times kind of strength out of the glass, something to do with nanocrystals being built into it are being used to create this harder glass. So you won't have to worry as much about your phone breaking if you drop it.

So honestly, across the board, this is a very impressive lineup of new iPhones. And it does seem as though that supercycle narrative that analysts have been discussing could be intact going forward, just because of the improvements that Apple managed to make here.

JEN ROGERS: All right, so we're all waiting for the supercycle and real 5G to come to us, not just kind of the fake 5G. By the way, we've got Verizon lower, AT&T lower, T-Mobile, though, higher right now if you're looking at the carriers.

They also have the news about the HomePod Minis with the speaker coming out, cutting-- having a lower cost entry level speaker there. Because, of course, everybody, you know, go on Amazon Prime Day. They basically give those things away. Apple now an entry with $99. A lot of people were waiting to see if there was going to be a luxury AirPod coming out.

Dan Roberts, I want to bring you in here. That didn't come out. There's a lot of talk about this wireless charging. Is that annoying? Is it good? Because now you don't have to have the plug that takes up your other plug. You were watching this event as well. You've watched many of these in the past. What was your takeaway?

DAN ROBERTS: Too many of these, Jen. I've watched too many of these events, just like Dan Howley. The smart speaker part of this was interesting to me. I mean, amid the news about the phones, it's not going to get much attention-- rightfully so.

But, you know, I have followed sort of the smart speaker wars since they began. And what's interesting is that Apple, when it released the first HomePod in 2018, which, by the way, today, the HomePod Mini, this was the first update on the actual hardware of that line. This was the first new iteration of HomePod.

But Apple's entry into the smart speaker race really has not been successful so far. I don't think that's unfair to say. You know, really tiny market share, lower than 5% market share. And if you just look three years ago, Amazon Echo had something like 70% share of the US smart speaker race.

Then Google came along, and Google had Google Home. And Google actually stole back share from Amazon Echo pretty quickly. And now while Amazon is still number one in this, Google is very close. Apple still very, very distant, smaller than 5% share.

So Mini, which, by the way, $99 is pretty cheap. And I think you draw the right point right now that with Prime Day coming up, they practically give these things away. You can get an Echo Dot for, like, $49. You know, it's sort of like Bezos's early strategy with the Kindle, where they were just breaking even, or even sometimes losing money on the hardware. But they think, well, once we get you, then you're in for life. And then you'll buy e-books.

Similarly, Apple here with the Mini I think is just trying its damnedest to claw away at Amazon and Google's market dominance. But point being here, the smart speaker race, it's still very much early days. I, for example, am not someone who has bought one of these things and currently I say, oh, I never will. But never say never.

You know, maybe something will come along in five years that convinces me. But I still think all three of those players believe that there are still more consumers that they can reap who haven't yet put one of these things in their homes and might.

JEN ROGERS: So, Dan Roberts, Sonos, of course, a big player in that space in this sort of luxury level. Sonos stock is up some 5% right now. A lot of people thinking maybe there was going to be something more to this Mini. Maybe it would have more stereo sound. It looks like you're going to have to get two to be able to do that.

So, Dan Howley, these things are a little bit like the Oscars. You know, all the nominations come out, and we're like, who got snubbed? So what was the-- in this day, what was the big disappointment that was not revealed? Was there anything, or did they just hit it out of the park, do you think?

DAN HOWLEY: I think for the iPhone, they did. They did a great job with this. You know, a lot of this was already predicted. There's been leaks. You know, so it's not as though we weren't expecting this. I think some of the stuff that we missed out on was those luxury headphones that you had discussed, the over the ear headphones.

Our poor Ethan Wolff-mann has been waiting for those and kind of preparing something for them. And then they just don't appear. So we're hoping to see those at some point later this year, as well as Apple's own laptops and desktops, using its own silicon.

Remember, they are going to move away from Intel and use ARM-based custom chips in their laptops and desktops. We're waiting for that. They said that it would happen sometime before the end of the year. But we haven't seen it quite yet.

It makes sense that Apple wouldn't want to show that off in an event like this, where they're trying to showcase the iPhone. But hopefully, we will get another event perhaps maybe next month in November, where they do show that off. And that would be a big blow to Intel, not as far as sales go, because Apple doesn't make up a huge chunk of it. But as far as ego within the industry, I think that would be a huge blow to them.

JEN ROGERS: All right, Dan Howley on the Apple beat. Meanwhile, Apple down right now over 2%, nearly 3 bucks. They're the worst performer in the Dow as we continue to digest this story. Howley, great to see you.