Apple Inc. , if rumors being spread by Buzzfeed are to be believed, will try to release the iPhone 7 a little bit earlier than thought. John Paczkowski at the site says that sources that knew of Apple’s plans told him that September 9 was set to be the first time Apple will show the world its new smart phone.
The iPhone 7 is set to be a little bit thicker than the iPhone 6, and come fitted with Force Touch, the haptic feedback system first seen in the Apple Watch. The device is sure to be the best that Apple has ever made, but that doesn’t mean that sales are going to compete with those of the iPhone 6.
iPhone 7 release date gets clearer
If Apple will indeed set the iPhone 7 release date on September 9, the firm will need to send invites to the tech world in the next week or two. Expect to see pictures of those invites across Twitter as soon as they begin to arrive.
Apple revealed the iPhone 6 on September 9 2014, making the iPhone 7 release date exactly one year after that release. The iPhone 5s was launched on September 10 2013.
The iPhone 6 was put up for pre-order on September 11, and went on sale for the first time on September 19. That means that September 19 is the real iPhone 7 release date, the day you’ll be able to get it in stores, if Buzzfeed is right.
We’re getting beyond the point where the iPhone 7 release date is subject of rumor. With just a few weeks to go before the date it’s expected to arrive, it’s clear that Apple will have to notify the press very soon.
More important for Wall Street than the specific release date will be the firm’s sales numbers. One country’s numbers in particular will draw a lot of attention
Looking at iPhone 7 demand in China
Apple shares have hit hard times in recent weeks, and the reveal of the iPhone 7 will be the next major mover for the firm’s stock. We’re already pretty sure of what the iPhone 7 specs will look like, but forecasts for its sales across the world are a little more uneven.
Many on Wall Street reckon that Apple will not be able to grow far beyond the sales of the iPhone 6. Almost all of the firm’s growth in sales in the second quarter came from China, a country with a slowing economy.
The iPhone 7 release date, and sales over the first weekend, will be key to seeing how things are really going for Apple in the Middle Kingdom.
China was left off of the list of release countries for the iPhone 6, and it’s not clear if that’s going to be the case this time around. Though the phone was up for pre-order in China on October 10 and, a report from Tencent revealed, the firm drew more than 20m orders for the device in its first week.
Apple plans this time around aren’t clear. The firm may seek to put the iPhone 7 release date in China on the same day as it comes on sale in the US. Production problems, or issues with the Chinese government, may force them to delay the release as it did last year.
Selling the iPhone 7
Apple reined in sales forecasts for the iPhone 7 when it released its June results. The firm said it expects sales of $49B-$51B in the three months through September. That was below the $51.1B that Wall Street was looking for and was one of the major forces that pushed Apple stock below $115 last week.
That came in beside worse that thought iPhone sales in the three months through June and the two appear to be linked. If September 19 is the iPhone 7 release date, it seems that the lack of a new release won’t explain the lower sales, leaving Wall Street glaring at China for the next month or two.
Steven Milunovich of UBS says that there’s “little evidence” that a slow down in the stock market in Chin will result in a fall in sales of the iPhone. He said that a slowing economy was a risk, but there was not perfect proof that China is slowing down.
Global Equities Research analyst Trip Chowdhry, known for his hatred of Apple’s buyback program, said in an August 5 report that he expects China to be in recession next year. That flies in the face of forecasts from the World Bank and other analysts.
Mr. Chowdhry says that he is “expecting a disastrous China business for Apple” next year. That’s the worst of what Wall Street reckons will happen in China. Research houses across the board are worried that a slow down might impact sales.
Looking for growth at Apple
China became the biggest market for Apple in the quarter through March 30. The country is still responsible for most of the growth in sales of the iPhone, and a possible slow down is a major worry for those with shares.
Brian White of Cantor Fitzgerald says that Apple is “still in the midst of a transformational, super cycle.” He expects iPhone sales to slow down, but he’s looking for Tom Cook and his team to pick up the slack and spur growth in other areas.
Apple Music, Apple Pay, and the incoming Apple streaming service are all part of what Mr. White calls Planet Apple.
Slowing sales in China and a drop in year-on-year iPhone sales aren’t the end for Apple, but many holding shares appear to think now is the time to get out. The firm’s shares have declined by close to 10 percent in the last three months.
That will keep Wall Street looking for every single bit of info on demand in China as the iPhone 7 release date inches closer. The firm may very well fail to spur growth in the country, and that could result in the first ever down cycle for Apple since the launch of the first iPhone in 2007.
Mr. White, and other bullish Apple analysts, believe that Tim Cook, Luca Maestri, and the rest of the firm’s leaders will be able to get around that slow down should it occur. They, like everyone else, will still be glued to the firm’s China numbers as they arrive through the coming months.