Yahoo Finance's Dan Roberts joins The Final Round panel to discuss the latest on Apple's products and services which it revealed on Tuesday at its 'Time Flies' event.
MYLES UDLAND: All right, well, through the afternoon, we had a-- yet another Apple event. The company announcing new watches, new iPads. Dan Roberts, I know you always get very excited about these Apple events. You are all over the coverage here. What are we to take away, other than Apple clearly admitting that they could just bring back the phone Home button we all really like, but instead they use face ID?
DAN ROBERTS: Well, it's so funny you say that. As an iPhone 11 owner, I guess, who is mostly happy with that phone, but I don't use face ID, personally. I have that turned off. I know some people swear by it. But I choose not to use that function.
On the new iPad Air, the touch ID is part of the button at the top. I think that's probably the most interesting and noteworthy a new kind of twist to the iPad Air design. So there is no Home button, which follows or joins, I guess, where the iPhone family is at.
But instead, the very same button at the top right that you would click on and off the iPad also is a sensor for your thumb print. So hurrah, impressive, I guess. Apple said it's the tiniest authorization sensor we've ever done.
Now, in terms of the iPads-- and we could talk about the other things rolled out today, but maybe someone else can mention more about those-- the name of the event was Time Flies, so really a reference to the watch. I would say the watch was the main event. But I was really focused on the iPads. They rolled out a new iPad Air and then a new iPad 8 of just the basic, they call it the entry level iPad, which I haven't had for a long time.
Now, separately, we've got the Pro, which is the glitzy, glam. And we're sort of on the every other cycle, right? So the last event in June was when they did a new Pro. And then there's the Mini. I'm still a proud owner of the iPad Mini.
Although the issue to me, the larger story here is that there's just no real urgency to upgrade with the iPad. I mean, with the iPhone, that's different. Maybe there's enough with a new camera, or, of course, with the next one, it will be 5G.
But I've got the iPad Mini for six years. And I just have no reason to upgrade, because it works great. I love it. I'm happy with it.
So interesting to see all these glitzy new iPad models. But you wonder how many people are upgrading. Of course, we can't know, because Apple stopped disclosing unit sales at the end of 2018.
Now, interestingly it did in 2018 disclose at least that it had been the number one tablet maker on the market. I'm sure that's still the case. But we just don't have a sense of market share unless you to use estimates from IDC. We don't have a sense of how many iPads Apple sells these days.
We do know, as of last year, that the overall tablet market has been declining three years in a row. Sales were down 1.6% in 2019. So fewer people are buying tablets. But Apple was touting today at its event that it's been 10 years since the first iPad shipped, which is kind of interesting.
And Tim Cook said oh, it's a big year this year for iPad. Of course, every year they say every year is a big year for every Apple product. But that's what we got today-- a slew of new watches, a new iPad air-- it's the iPad Air 4-- and then a new iPad 8, that entry level. And the iPad Air really appeared to me to be kind of the main event in terms of the tablets.
MELODY HAHM: And Dan, as you think about the iPad ecosystem, of course, Chromebooks have been very aggressive but entering classrooms. We know Amazon is out with a cheaper model as well to make sure to flood the zone, right, get them while they're early. And the more that they can strike those sorts of partnerships, the probably more loyal those customers will be as they get sucked into that ecosystem.
I want to touch upon the watch component. As you mentioned, the event was called Time Flies. I do want to kind of point out that the COO, Jeff Williams, actually got a lot of face time during this event. Of course, Tim Cook kicked it off and wrapped it up. But overall, he really did most of the talking. He is in charge of Apple's operations and is considered perhaps one of the most important executives, if not the second-most important after Tim Cook.
Apple Series 6 Watch-- very interesting to me, because it's all about fitness this time, right? This has been something that perhaps folks have been wondering why this wasn't a bigger investment earlier on, especially as we see the likes of Peloton coming into play and being very aggressive with their digital subscriptions. So as it works now, the Apple Series 6 Watch will cost $399. The SE will be a lower price point at $279.
And I have to say, guys, I bought an Apple Watch back in 2018 prior to the New York City Marathon. And I ended up returning it, because I didn't actually want to get hooked on the product because I didn't think it was good enough to feel addicted to the product. And now, this $279 watch, I'm very eager to pursue, because the Fitness+ component, which is now their new sort of library of content-- they're going to train their own fitness instructors and influencers to lead classes in a VOD model-- it'll be directly synced with your Apple Watch.
You can see your heart rate. You can see all of the calories you burn. You can see how much of your mileage you've been able to achieve over the course of a workout.
And for me, that's kind of the big component that's missing in my sort of active lifestyle. I don't know exactly how many calories I've burned. I don't think the fitness app is that-- or the current heart rate monitor is that accurate to really detect that. So for one, I think it's a pretty interesting development.
And perhaps this is a way to get all those Peloton folks back into the Apple ecosystem. I do want to point out that it was Peloton's first ever Investor Day today. I don't know how that timing works. But it's kind of interview gold, I guess.
Peloton CEO John Foley did respond during that event real time. And he said, quote, "we're just digesting the announcement, like everybody. It's quite a legitimization of fitness content to the extent that the biggest company in the world is coming in and saying fitness content matters." And not really saying much, but, of course, Peloton stock did dip briefly on that announcement.
MYLES UDLAND: Yes, Melody, the stock still is off highs of the session, up 2 and 1/2% today. But the stock traded up closer to $88 a share right now, seeing $84. But I would certainly kind of see it more the way that Foley does. Everything that Apple bundles together affirms the leader in that category.
If you look at like their Plus bundle with the fitness and the music and the news, it's like yes, well, people are still going to subscribe to Spotify and Peloton and "The New York Times." I think that that kind of in many ways affirms the values of those standalone brands a lot more than Apple saying we can give all this for you does. But we will see where all of that goes.