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Shares of consumer technology stalwart Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) moved up about 2% on Wednesday as anticipation brews over the company’s upcoming new products event, officially scheduled for Sept. 12. Per Yahoo Finance, management has been tightlipped about what observers can expect. However, speculation boils over that Apple will debut its iPhone 15. Still, the pressure truly is on for AAPL stock.
Taking place at Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California, the event will also be livestreamed starting at 1:00 p.m. ET. According to Yahoo Finance technology editor Daniel Howley, the invitation for the event showcases a gray and blue logo, which might hint at new color options for the iPhone 15.
As previously mentioned at InvestorPlace, the latest-generation smartphones will be encased in titanium. From an aesthetic perspective, the upgraded material should offer better smudge resistance. In addition, it may also cut down on the phones’ weight. Moreover, the iPhone 15 will incorporate a manufacturing technique that will reduce the footprint of the bezel. Subsequently, users should enjoy almost true edge-to-edge display.
In addition to the smartphone, the tech icon will likely debut the Apple Watch Series 9. An iterative update on the current Series 8, MacRumors points out that “[the] refresh is expected to focus on updating the cores within the device’s S-series chip, delivering a notable performance improvement.” Overall, though, the device is likely to be effectively the same as the Series 8.
Despite Excitement, a Critical Test Awaits AAPL Stock
Further whetting the appetite, the second-gen version of the Apple Watch Ultra may also be in the cards. Priced at $800, the Ultra represents the company’s top-of-the-line Apple Watch. Commanding a case size of 49 millimeters, this flagship offers durability and a wider range of niche features. Notably, the new Ultra could be lighter and may also come in a new darker color option. Still, AAPL stock stands at a crossroads.
Fundamentally, many other anticipated product upgrades — such as new Apple Watch bands and color-matching USB-C cables for the iPhone 15 — are visually interesting but might not move the needle much for AAPL stock. And while other products like the 15’s Pro Thunderbolt cable accessory or the USB-C AirPods Pro Case offer functionality improvements, Apple’s main directive is clear.
Essentially, it must reverse the trend of consumers globally holding off on electronics purchases. Even the cornerstone iPhone is in the middle of a sales slump. Therefore, management has an opportunity to instill much-needed excitement. But if it doesn’t, AAPL stock may suffer.
For now, shares find themselves up almost 50% since the January opener. However, the market has been jittery over the troubles impacting the consumer economy. In particular, AAPL stock slipped roughly 5% in the trailing month. Given that consumers don’t necessarily need a straight-out-the-oven smartphone, Apple is under tremendous pressure.
Why It Matters
Imposing a wrinkle ahead of the product event is news that Apple’s direct iPhone sales have hit a new low. Currently, mobile carriers represent the dominant force, taking almost 80% of sales. Per 9to5Mac, the decline in direct sales translates to lower revenue for Apple as customers are less likely to purchase add-on products like AppleCare extended warranty.
On the date of publication, Josh Enomoto did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.