Much Ado About Apple, But Not Enough About its New iPhones?

by Dawn Pennington on September 11, 2013

Our publisher Brad Hoppmann wrote about Apple’s newest product-upgrade-turned-double-product-launch in yesterday’s Uncommon Wisdom Daily Afternoon Edition. If you’re invested in the stock, options or even in its product lifecycle as an iUser, you won’t want to miss this …

Yesterday was Apple’s (AAPL) day in the spotlight. And even though its stock tumbled yesterday afternoon and continues to slide today, its two new phones might be dialing up some bad news for Google.

Much to my dismay, Apple didn’t offer live video of the event yesterday, so I had to eavesdrop on reporters in the room via Twitter. They described quite a show from CEO Tim Cook. Here are the quick highlights:

  • Apple will begin selling two new iPhone models in the U.S. on Sept. 20.
  • The lower-end iPhone 5C will start at $99 (with a two-year service plan, of course) and feature five colorful plastic case options.
  • The cutting-edge iPhone 5S, priced at $199-$399 (again, with a service plan), has a super-fast processor, new motion sensor and camera capabilities, and a fingerprint scanner they call "Touch ID."
  • Apple is adding Japan’s largest carrier, NTT DoCoMo, and is reportedly near a deal with China Mobile.
  • The company intends to discontinue the current iPhone 5 model, but the older iPhone 4S will stay on the menu. The price will be $0 if you agree to a two-year service plan.
  • By next month, Apple will have sold 700 million iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad devices worldwide.
  • By the end of this year, the iPhone will be available in more than 100 nations.

I read quick takes from several industry analysts this afternoon. They were all impressed.

Mobile devices running Google’s Android software — which is free for phone carriers — stole market share from Apple with lower prices. Apple answered today with the free iPhone 4S and $99 iPhone 5C.

Microsoft (MSFT) took two hits. First, the new iPhones give the Windows Phone an even-steeper uphill climb. Second, the powerful iPhone 5S appears to have real potential as a gaming device. Combined with some yet-to-be-seen Apple TV product, the Microsoft Xbox could get evicted from many game-addict living rooms.

On the other hand, Apple investors appear to be unimpressed. Shares fell after the mid-day event, closing back below $500 at $494.64. At midday today, they’re down more than 5% at $466.13.

Part of the disappointment was in the full pricing scheme. Phone carriers will have to pay Apple $549 for the "cheaper" iPhone 5C. Customers pay less because the carriers subsidize the phone cost — and $549 is more than some expected.

We’re investigating right now to see what else is weighing on the shares. Right now we have a $600 price target on the stock, and we’ll keep our Uncommon Wisdom Daily readers updated on whether that changes or whether this is simply a matter of the weak hands being shaken out after the big iPhone reveal. Stay tuned!

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