It took longer than expected, but the iPhone 12 has finally arrived. While quite a bit of media coverage has been focused on product features, I believe investors should be thinking about the business aspect of the new device launch.
Below is a list with my most relevant observations. Over the next several days, I will develop each point in more detail.
Apple Maven’s key takeaways
- Overall take: Generally, I believe that the iPhone 12 launch at least met expectations on product features. Perhaps the positive surprise is that not only the Pro version, but all US models have been equipped with mmWave capability, which allows for much faster 5G speeds, where available. From a product feature perspective, I believe that consumers will be tempted to upgrade their devices, and this is positive for investors.
- Pricing: In my view, the best news was pricing. Apple’s high-end Pro version will start at $999, a low price point that probably caught most experts by surprise. Also, Apple managed to launch a 5G phone (the iPhone Mini) at only $699, which was the same launch price of the iPhone 11 last year. Less expensive phones are probably a great idea for a year of pandemic and recession. Lastly, the iPhone’s pricing spectrum looks very compelling to me: budget-conscious users can buy the iPhone SE for only $399, while the top-of-the-line device stretches as far as $1,400 – the Pro Max version with 512 Gb of storage.
- Availability: The second-best piece of news, in my view, was more of a “lack of bad news”. The iPhone 12 can be ordered as soon as this coming Friday and will be at the store one week later. Meanwhile, the Pro and Mini versions will be available for delivery before mid-November. While the availability dates cut close to Black Friday, on November 27, they are very much aligned with what the more hopeful expectations had been prior to launch date.
- Home speaker: Lastly, the HomePod Mini was a neat little addition to Apple’s “wearable and home” segment. With a $99 device, the Cupertino company starts to compete more fiercely with home speaker market leaders Amazon and Google – and it offers yet another incentive for consumers to buy into the whole Apple ecosystem. However, the announcement of the HomePod Mini might have frustrated investors that were expecting to see a new lineup of Macs or the highly anticipated AirPod Studio this time.
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(Disclaimers: the author may be long one or more stocks mentioned in this report. Also, the article may contain affiliate links. These partnerships do not influence editorial content. Thanks for supporting The Apple Maven)