3 Reasons Why Spring Loaded Event Matters To Apple Stock

Apple shares rallied through most of April, but they failed to climb on Apple's Spring Loaded day. Below are three key reasons why the event still matters to Apple stock.
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Apple hosted the Spring Loaded event on April 20. The most relevant product upgrade came with the new iPad Pro. Updates on the iMac, services, home and wearable devices were also announced. 

Despite the exciting product and service news, Apple stock failed to climb on the day of the event. Looking past the intraday share price behavior, I think that yesterday's announcements were meaningful for the Cupertino company.

I list below three reasons why I believe that Apple bulls should remain encouraged.

#1 - M1 chip shows its value

The M1 chip and other technological advances have allowed Apple to narrow the gap between their more mainstream and their pro products. This helps to explain, for example, the extinction of the Intel-powered iMac Pro.

The new iPad Pro, now equipped with M1 chip, has faster performance and better graphics. Apple is going pedal-to-the-metal in 2021, betting both on single-product innovation and the power of the ecosystem. Much of what has been happening is a result of the new M1 chip and architecture, announced during last year's WWDC event.

From a product development perspective, this is exciting times for Apple.

Figure 1: Apple's M1 chip.

Figure 1: Apple's M1 chip.

#2 - Product portfolio looks strong

The iPad Pro, the star of Tuesday's show, seems upgraded enough (M1, 5G, ultra wide camera) to make it stand out during a year in which Apple's tablet segment will start facing tough comps in the June quarter.

When it comes to the new iMac, there is no question to its is beauty and power. At a starting price of $1,300, I believe that Apple makes the right moves by introducing a compelling desktop computer that is relatively affordable. 

The question is whether the iMac matters enough to investors. I think it does, but only to the extent that the complete ecosystem is important to the investment thesis (see next section). Time will tell if I may be underestimating Apple's new desktop model.

Beyond the intraday stock price behavior that was underwhelming, I think that the announcements of April 20 were good for the Cupertino company. The product portfolio is looking as strong as ever, in my view. Bullishness reinforced.

Figure 2: Apple's new 5G capable iPad Pro, equipped with M1 chip.

Figure 2: Apple's new 5G capable iPad Pro, equipped with M1 chip.

#3 - Apple develops its ecosystem

When it comes to the breadth of the product refresh, Apple did not disappoint. In addition to the new iPad Pro and new iMac, we also saw AirTags, Apple TV 4K, updates on Apple Card and Apple Podcast. Not all announcements will amount to much, from the perspective of future financial performance. But they all add to Apple's diverse ecosystem.

Tim Cook opened his presentation with news on services. A quick update on Apple Card Family means that other members of a household can share credit scores and access credit. This can prove to be a significant development, as it adds purchasing power to Apple's consumer base.

Later, updates within the Wearables and Home segment were unveiled, including the Apple TV 4K with A12 Bionic chip. Apple does not break down revenues or profits within the Wearables and Home segment, where Apple TV belongs. But I do not believe the product to represent a large chunk of the pie, certainly not compared to the Apple Watch and AirPods.

Once again, all updates were not necessarily an eye-catcher for investors, but interesting pieces of the puzzle instead. Apple's ecosystem strength, which is arguably the core of the company's business model, has been boosted.

Figure 3: Apple's Air Tag.

Figure 3: Apple's Air Tag.

Twitter speaks

Halfway through the Spring Loaded event, I asked a question on Twitter about what had caught your attention the most, from an investor's perspective. See the results below.

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(Disclaimers: this is not investment advice. 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)