Apple Inc. (AAPL) stock continued its steady downward march on Friday as investors caught wind of the short or non-existent lines for the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus launch. It was like adding insult to the injury caused when the company admitted that it was aware of problems with the LTE connectivity on the Apple Watch Series 3.
Apple Inc. (AAPL) stock is now down more than 5% for the week, putting it on track for its worst performance in the week of a product launch since the original iPhone was launched in 2007. The previous record for worst product launch week performance was in 2010 when the iPhone 4 and 3GS launched and Apple Inc. (AAPL) stock declined by nearly 3%.
The shares are also down by about 6% since Sept. 12, the date Apple Inc. (AAPL) revealed the iPhone X, iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, Apple Watch Series 3 and other new items. Additionally, they’re down by approximately 8% for the month and heading for their worst performance in a month since April 2016. However, Apple Inc. (AAPL) bulls rarely become bears, and the same is true now, as most perma-bulls say that investors should buy on the weakness because it only makes the stock look even more attractive than it already was.
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Piper Jaffray analyst Michael Olson raised his price target for Apple Inc. (AAPL) stock from $190 to $196 in a note to investors. He said that today’s weak turnout for the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus will end up being a good thing for Apple Inc. (AAPL) because it simply means consumers want the more expensive iPhone X, which won’t be released until November. In the long run, he said Apple Inc. (AAPL) should see its earnings grow on the back of a higher average selling price for the iPhone.
Loup Ventures Founder Gene Munster, who covered Apple Inc. (AAPL) stock for years while at Piper Jaffray before turning venture capitalist, predicted beforehand that today’s lines would be much shorter than last year’s iPhone lines. He told CNBC that not only is this year’s iPhone cycle split between two launch dates, as the iPhone X will launch in November, but also more and more people are buying things online.
Munster has made the online shopping argument for iPhone demand in the past, and he has largely been right when the lines on launch day turned out to be disappointing but the unit numbers ended up being satisfactory for investors. Munster isn’t even expecting the lines to be very long on launch day for the iPhone X, as he again predicts that consumers will shop online.
One other thing we would add is that initial supply for the iPhone X is expected to be extremely constrained, which gives consumers even more of a motivation to shop online. After all, why go stand in line at a store when the odds are low that you’ll even be able to buy one? And this is even more true now that it’s so easy to preorder online.
While on CNBC, Munster also reassured investors and told them not to underestimate consumers’ willingness to hand over their cold, hard-earned cash for pricey Apple Inc. (AAPL) products. His firm surveyed consumers who plan to purchase iPhones this year and found that the “setup for the iPhone X” looks strong.
Apple Inc. (AAPL) stock fell by as much as 1.28% to $151.43 on Friday.