Apple Event Preview: What Consumers and Investors Can Expect

It’s that time of year again. Apple will be holding its highly anticipated annual fall product event virtually Tuesday, Sept. 15, at 10 a.m. PT. Things are different this year (thanks, COVID), but the hype remains the same. 

A global pandemic threw a wrench in some of Apple’s plans this time around. There will likely be no audience or typical new iPhone lineup at the event.

Though some have speculated a new 5G compatible iPhone announcement is coming soon, recent reports suggest it most likely won’t take place until October. The fall event has usually been the stage for Apple to reveal a new family of iPhones, but management said in late July that iPhone production was delayed a few weeks due to COVID-19. 

Next week’s event will most likely focus on a brand-new iPad and Apple Watch, along with updates to software. 

Apple is still a hardware-focused company, but its recent pivot into Services and Wearables has been closely monitored by investors and analysts. 

It’s been widely speculated that Apple could use the event to address the bundle reportedly in the works referred to as “Apple One.” The premium bundle would include Apple TV+ and Apple Music, and users will have the option to include other services such as Apple Arcade and Apple News+.

The possible Apple One announcement comes on the heels of Apple’s recent bundle offering in which Apple TV+ subscribers in the U.S. got access to CBS All Access and Showtime for a discounted price of just $9.99 per month. 

Despite all the changes this year, the event itself is an important fourth-quarter occasion for the company. It comes right at the beginning of the holiday shopping season, so it gives Apple the opportunity to sell a slew of new products and services to consumers just in time for Christmas. 

The event should be a win-win for Apple and Apple consumers, but what about Apple investors? Well, if history is any indication, investors could have reason to get excited, too.

Apple stock tends to rise in the three months following a September event. Just to be clear — correlation doesn’t always mean causation. However, with the exception of 2018, Apple stock rose in four of the past five years after the annual event. 

In the three months following the event, Apple stock jumped 9% in 2015, 10% in 2016 and 9% in 2017. Then in 2018, with the broader market sell-off in December, shares plunged 23%. Last year, the stock surged a whopping 24% three months after Apple’s fall event on Sept. 10. 

The gains may not be meteoric, but they indicate that Apple knows how to inspire investor confidence through the products and services showcased at these events.

The recent four-for-one split made Apple stock more accessible to those who want to buy in. And with shares of the tech company trading about 18% below their 52-week highs as of Tuesday, some investors could be looking to cash in on a potential buying opportunity. 

It all comes down to whether or not Apple can impress consumers and investors even as a global pandemic creates unforeseen challenges.