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Here's what to expect at Apple's iPhone launch event

Yahoo Finance's Tech Editor Dan Howley joins The First Trade with Alexis Christoforous and Brian Sozzi to discuss what we can expect from the upcoming Apple iPhone launch event on October 13th.

Video Transcript

BRIAN SOZZI: The company will unveil its latest lineup of iPhones tomorrow, which Morgan Stanley calls its most significant one in years. Yahoo Finance Tech editor Dan Howley joins us now. Dan, set this event up for us.

DAN HOWLEY: Yeah, this is really, you know, going to be, as a lot of analysts called, one of the largest events going for Apple in some time, especially with the announcement that we're going to get four new iPhones-- at least that's what the rumors have so far-- as well as a new set of over-the-ear headphones. Those would have the same branding as the AirPod. And then a HomePod Mini, you remember the HomePod was a kind of standalone speaker that Apple had released.

It didn't do quite well because of pricing and some of the limitations that Apple put on it as far as the third party music services you could use. But this one is possibly to be smaller, less expensive one, and hopefully Apple allows for a larger third party presence of music offerings. But it's really going to be the iPhones that stand out here.

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: Dan, we're waiting for this 5G iPhone. What if-- it does indeed happen-- what is it going to mean for the telecom companies, among them, of course, our parent company, Verizon?

DAN HOWLEY: Yeah, so the 5G is really the big boost that the iPhone is expected to get this time around, as well as some new designs. They're going to get more angular designs, similar to what we just saw with the new iPad Air. But for the 5G, for the telecom companies, it's going to be kind of a moment of truth, really. You know, they've been boosting or boasting, rather, about their 5G capabilities for a long time. And I just don't see consumers getting kind of any real tangible benefit from 5G right out of the box.

I mean, 4G LTE is already plenty fast and can stream music and videos, no problem. It's ubiquitous at this point. 5G is going to be faster as far as the ability to stream, upload, download, things like that. But for the current applications that we have, it's not exactly necessary. I think people are going to get 5G and say, oh, OK, I have it now. It's going to take a while for the actual practical applications to come out.

Remember, without 4G, we wouldn't have had something like Uber or Lyft or Grubhub, Seamless, things along those lines. Spotify certainly wouldn't have existed. Netflix you wouldn't have on your smartphone without 4G. So 5G should provide us with those kinds of innovations and set up new sectors of the economy. We just don't know what they are yet because it's still very much in its infancy as far as the consumer market goes.

BRIAN SOZZI: Investors have piled into Apple ahead of this event, Dan. If there were to be a disappointment, where do you think it'll come from?

DAN HOWLEY: I don't really know. You know, I think we're really-- what we're expecting out of the iPhones is what we've already heard about, you know, the rumors from Apple-- well, not from Apple, but around Apple's events-- really tend to be pretty spot on. And I think if those are the iPhones that we get, then it would be fantastic.

You know, there are some investors who think that there's going to be some magical surprise and then you'll see the stock dip a little bit during the event and shortly thereafter. But it recovers quickly generally. And I just think that's because, you know, people are taking their profits from the kind of lead up to the event.

But I don't think that there's going to be any disappointment. It would be interesting though if we do see Apple show off their own silicon running in their MacBooks. That's something that they've been working on and talking about, their own ARM processors or ARM-based processors rather than Intel. So we could see that perhaps at this event or Apple may take that and put its own event on for it as a big coming out party. But it would be really interesting if we saw something along those lines. And that, in the long run, would give Apple a big boost because it means it doesn't have to rely on another vendor.