Apple Inc. will announce the iPhone 7 release date soon, and fans around across the globe are eagerly awaiting the arrival of the firm’s next great smart phone.
While we’re talking about the iPhone 7 specs and release date, it’s important to remember how little each of those really matter in the long run. As Apple shares have gotten crushed in recent weeks, Wall Street has once again turned its face to the iPhone 7 release date and specs. They make headlines, but they’re not going to matter for Tim Cook’s firm, not really.
iPhone 7 release date just weeks away
If the rumors are true, the iPhone 7 will emerge into the light for the first time on September 9. That will be followed with the phone’s pre-order system opening. It will, if Apple holds to a schedule of previous years, arrive on store shelves for the first time on September 19. Those are the same dates that kept the iPhone 6 from the world.
The iPhone 7 release is less than a month away, and Wall Street is nervous. Apple shares have lost almost 9 percent of their value in the last three months. The main reason for their worries is the next smartphone from Apple, but they don’t really care about the iPhone 7 release date.
Apple guided for lower smart phone sales in the three months through September, and that may mean that there will be supply problems with the iPhone 7 as we get toward release. For Apple supply problems usually mean pent up demand rather than huge levels of frustration.
The iPhone 7 release date won’t change the eventual sales of the device that much, or at least not in a way that Wall Street will be able to predict with a decent level of clarity.
iPhone 7 specs are going to be great
We already know that the iPhone 7 specs are going to be top quality. We’ve seen Apple release device after device for close to a decade, and it has never fallen flat on its face. Some might argue that it’s due to happen as a result. Those same people are owed a lot of money by slot machines that were about to hit a big payout.
The reason that every single release of the iPhone has been great, and the reason that the iPhone 7 specs will impress, is that Apple is an incredible firm. Those with shares shouldn’t have to worry about the specifics of the product that Apple will release in a month’s time, because they can be pretty sure it’s going to be great.
If there’s a problem with the iPhone 7 specs, it’s not likely we’re going to hear about it from Wall Street analysts before the release.
Ming Chu Kuo of KGI Securities revealed that Apple will include Force Touch in the iPhone 7, and Tim Arcuri speculated on how it might turn a 2D interface into a 3D one. Neither of them really took a hard look at what might happen if users hate Force Touch.
Wall Street trusts Apple with features like Force Touch too much. It trusts Tim Cook, Jony Ive and the rest of the team to do what they’ve done for seven years running. iPhone 7 specs shouldn’t concern an Apple investor, but that doesn’t mean they should sleep easy at night.
What should Apple holders worry about?
If the iPhone 7 release date and specs aren’t really worth caring about for those with shares, what should traders worry about right now? The big problems for Apple won’t involve when the firm will get the iPhone 7 out the door, it will involve the sales of the device, an the firm’s overall push to grow past the massive success of the iPhone 6.
The bull case
There is more than one school of though on how Apple will do in the months after the iPhone 7 release date. The most hopeful says that the firm won’t slow down all that much after the new phone is released. Features like Force Touch will drive sales higher, and problems in China, which have dragged shares lower in recent weeks will not have the impact that some expect.
Toni Sacconaghi of Sanford C. Bernstein says that “We’ve done some income growth analysis in China and basically, what we’ve found is that … the iPhone, at its current price, would be affordable to twice as many people in China in 2019 than it would have been in 2012.”
He says that the key for Apple is looking to the 300M premium Samsung phones that are out there right now as well as the 30M BlackBerry phones. Switching their users will allow for growth even as the overall market stops getting bigger.
The middle case
Most analysts aren’t sure that Apple will be able to grow quickly after the iPhone 7 release date. They reckon that the firm will end up keeping sale in or around the same 200M units per year level, while trying to spur growth in other areas.
Sherri Scribner of Deutsche Bank reckons that after the iPhone 7 release date sales at Tim Cook’s firm will be slower than that of the the global smartphone market. That will put it in a phase of transition as it looks to capture growth in other areas.
The other growth opportunities could come from the software that Brian White of Cantor Fitzgerald calls “Planet Apple,” from sales of other hardware like the Apple Watch or the iPad Pro, or from sales of the iPhone if Apple manages to expand into new markets like India.
The iPhone 7 specs aren’t going to boost sales in India, it’s the firm’s last of sales infrastructure, and low incomes, that have blocked sales in the country.
The bear case
The iPhone 7 release date may signal the start of the end of a high for Apple. After sales of the iPhone hit such highs, it’s hard to see how Apple is going to keep growing. The firm’s future may depend on finding the next big thing.
In the bear case the Apple Watch has been a disaster, and falling iPad sales mean that Apple may have been a one hit wonder. The extreme bear case doesn’t have too many followers on Wall Street, but many research houses follow it to one degree or another.
As the iPhone 7 release date approaches, this is what should attract the attention of those with shares in Apple. It’s not about the iPhone 7 specs, it’s about whether Apple can grow during this iPhone cycle, and whether the firm will ever be able to grow outside of its smart phone business.