Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) stock sunk on Thursday, dragging the rest of the markets down with it. The iPhone maker’s shares tumbled by nearly 3% to fall as low as $155.02 in heavy trading. By afternoon, nearly 30.3 million shares of Apple stock had changed hands, versus the average daily volume of 28.24 million shares. The S&P 500 is on track for its worst drop in over six weeks, riding Apple stock down into the waters.
On CNBC’s Trading Nation, Disruptive Technology Advisers Chief Economist Max Wolff flagged a trend he sees as “a little bit concerning.” While analysts boost their price targets for Apple stock, consumers’ “reception” of the iPhone 8 and iOS 11 “looks less than exciting,” he said. And on the other hand, the iPhone X delays “look major,” he added.
He noted the reports that consumers are more interested in purchasing the iPhone 7 than the iPhone 8 because of the similarities between them and its lower price. KeyBanc was one of those reporting the news recently, citing its own carrier store survey. Further, the Economic Daily News, a Taiwan-based publication, reported that Apple sliced its iPhone 8-related orders more than in half.
Wolff also pointed to the reported problems with iOS 11 on the iPhone 8, with some reports indicating that its performance was worse than that of the Samsung Galaxy S7, which is now a year and a half old. Further, The Wall Street Journal reported that China had cut off the Apple Watch’s cellular connection, leaving Chinese consumers who had bought one for its cellular capabilities out of luck. They essentially paid extra for an Apple Watch that doesn’t have cellular connectivity.
Nonetheless, CNBC’s Jim Cramer advises investors not to let worries about iPhone 8 orders keep them out of Apple stock. He expects the shares to run higher and said today on Squawk on the Street that investors have dumped Apple stock for similar concerns in the past. He notes that such issues have plagued the iPhone maker “since the beginning of time,” but the iPhone 8 worries have “just kept people out of one of the greatest runs of all time.” He expects Apple stock to do the same thing again at some point.
Drexel Hamilton analyst Brian White, a perma-bull on Apple stock, echoed Cramer’s sentiments, and he recommended that investors buy shares leading up to the start of iPhone X preorders, which is next week Friday. White has the highest price target on Apple stock and advises investors to “buy into the iPhone 8 gloom and doom ahead of the iPhone X.”
The pricey iPhone model will start landing in consumers’ hands on Nov. 3, and the bullish argument is that weak demand for the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus doesn’t matter because the iPhone X will redeem the company. The phone’s high price tag has bulls convinced that Apple is about to cash in with heft profits on a device with high gross margins, so they prefer that consumers hold off on the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus and choose the most expensive model instead, even though supply constraints could keep many or even most of those who want one from getting it until next year.