Apple Inc. (AAPL) CEO Tim Cook and his team put on the usual annual media extravaganza from their Cupertino, Calif. headquarters as top managers introduced a rash of new products and offerings, including the iPhone 11 and iPhone Pro smartphones starting at $699, an Apple Watch Series 5 packed with health features; new prices for its Apple TV+ service that undercut giant Netflix Inc. (NFLX); and dazzling virtual reality video for its Apple Arcade video game offerings.
The big question is whether Apple’s latest debuts will fire up slowing sales of its flagship product, the iPhone, accelerate the sales of other products, and keep its shares rising. Already this year, shares of Apple have risen more than 37%, and they sit about 8.3% below their all-time high set in intraday trading on Oct. 3, 2018.
Here’s a look at five products CEO Cook and his team highlighted today.
iPhone 11 and iPhone Pro
iPhone 11 offers a new design with the key features being two cameras that offer wide and ultra-wide photography, with improved photo color quality, depth, and resolution, as well as enhanced ability to photograph in low light. Improved quality of video and audio playback make it more desirable for viewing videos, and the A13 Bionic chip supports play of the most advanced video games.
The new iPhone will offer one hour longer battery life than the iPhone XR. Other features include wireless charging, improved dust resistance, more water resistance, greater shock resistance, and stronger glass. The starting price is $699.
iPhone 11 Pro, also based on the A13 Bionic chip, offers 4 hours more of use on a charge than the iPhone X. It has 3 cameras, wide, ultra wide, and telephoto, that promise to produce pictures of professional quality, both still and video. It’s priced at $999 and the larger-sized iPhone Pro Max costs $1,099.
According to Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives, about a one-third of the company’s 900 million active iPhones worldwide are in a “window of an upgrade opportunity,” which could lead to major sales gains for Apple. Ives estimates that translates into roughly 180 million iPhone units that could be sold in 2020, as he told The Wall Street Journal. Still, other studies indicate the iPhone is regarded as less unique and aspirational compared to a few years ago.
Whether the new iPhone enhancements can reverse that downward sales trajectory is uncertain. Moreover, Apple’s next big growth spurt probably will be dependent on its ability to launch entirely new breakthrough products, which the iPhone once was, and its success in expanding its sales of applications and subscription services.
- Apple held a major product announcement event on Sept. 10, 2019.
- iPhone 11 and iPhone Pro offer advanced photo and video capabilities.
- Apple Watch Series 5 has additional functions and designs.
- Apple TV+ offers original content and undercuts Netflix on price.
- Apple Arcade offers a vast library of new games through the App Store.
Apple Watch Series 5
The new Apple Watch Series 5 has an always-on retina display that includes a dynamic light sensor that maintains an all-day battery life. Wearers can view the display without raising their wrists or tapping it.
A built-in compass is another new feature. Regarding safety, worldwide emergency calling has been built into the new watch. A variety of new facings, cases, colors, and band designs will be offered as well. The starting price is $399, or $499 for cellular models. The Apple Watch Series 3 is now $199.
Apple Watch sales grew by 50% year-over-year (YOY) to 5.7 million units in Apple’s recent fiscal quarter, per data from Strategy Analytics cited by the Journal. Also, smartwatch sales have been a major factor in boosting Apple’s wearables and accessories business, including AirPods. The Apple Watch is 46% of the global smart watch market, per data from Strategy Analytics cited by the Financial Times.
This service is being built around exclusive original content and now it’s taking direct aim at Netflix. The first shows will be available on Nov. 1 in over 100 countries, with new shows to be added each month. The cost will be $4.99 per month for a family. Meanwhile, Netflix Inc. charges $8.99 for their basic video streaming service. Buyers of new iPhones, iPads, and Macs will get a free one-year subscription. The service can be accessed through all Apple devices.
Apple Arcade will give users access to a vast library of exclusive new games from the App Store. The service, with dazzling virtual reality imaging, will debut on Sept. 19 in over 150 countries, priced at $4.99 per month for access to the entire game library, after a one-month free trial.
Additionally, a new 7th generation iPad is being rolled out with a 10.2 inch retinal display and 3.3 times more pixels and a 3.7 times wider viewing angle than a comparable PC. The new iPad is designed to take advantage of the new features supported by iPad OS, to give it greater functionality and ease of use than many PCs and laptops. A full-sized keyboard and enhanced integration with the Apple Pencil are key selling points. The starting price is $329, $299 for educational customers, and buyers get one year of Apple TV+ for free.