Apple Inc. (AAPL - Get Report) will host its eleventh annual product launch event in California later Tuesday, with investors focused on service-focused additions, as well as new versions of the AppleWatch and AirPods, to complement the expected suite of new iPhones.
Apple shares were marked 0.7% at the start of trading Tuesday to change hands at $212.69 each, a move that would still leave the stock with a year-to-date gain of more than 35% and a market value of around $963 billion.
Here a five key questions investors and Apple devotees will be asking ahead of the tech giant's presentation later today at the Steve Jobs Theater on Apple's Cupertino, California campus at 1:00 PM Eastern time.
1. iPhone Home?
Apple's iconic smartphone remains the company benchmark, despite sliding global sales and increasing competition from low-cost rivals, and today's event will once again center around the world's most-recognized handheld device.
Apple is expected to unveil three new models -- at varying price points -- in what is now the 11th labeled series of the 11-year old handset. Although the official name of the series is yet to be revealed, investors are expecting an iPhone 11 with a base price of $749 and intended as the natural upgrade to the current iPhone XR, an iPhone 11 Pro, priced at $999, and a $1,099-priced iPhone Pro Max.
Each of the new phones is expected to have increased durability, shatter-resistant screen and enhanced camera technology, including a triple lens for the higher priced versions.
2. AppleWatch This Space?
Wearables have become and increasing important component of Apple's hardware sales, and today's event is expected to reflect that with a fifth generation offering of the Apple Watch.
Apple's smartwatch dominance remains a key advantage in its ability to generate revenue from this hardware set, even as iPhone sales slow. It sells more than twice as many units as Samsung Electronics (SSNLF) and Fitbit (FIT - Get Report) , but any changes to the new series are likely to be either software-focused or design based.
Industry rumors suggest the Watch will have a new design based on ceramic and titanium casings and could also include various health-related options, such as glucose monitoring and sleep tracking, to increase its appeal to older customers.
3. Apple TV or Not to Be?
Apple TV, first mooted last spring, could also form part of today's event, with CEO Tim Cook potentially unveiling a launch date and price point for the streaming service that is expected to challenge the current market dominance of Netflix (NFLX - Get Report) and the soon-to-be-active Disney+ offering from Walt Disney Co. (DIS - Get Report) .
Apple's current 4K version of the AppleTV device could also see an upgrade today, particularly if the company plans to lure users to its Arcade gaming platform, which it unveiled last spring as part of a services-focused lineup of new products.
4. Let's Play Tag?
Industry rumors and trade publications have persistently discussed the potential for Apple to release a Bluetooth-enabled rival to Tile and its popular tracking app. Apple Tags, as its being referred to, could allow users to locate lost or mis-placed gadgets - such as iPhones or iPods -- as well as keys, wallets and cameras by using a circular device that would be integrated with the current "Find My iPhone" service.
5. Budding New AirPod?
Apple's incredibly popular wireless earphones, known as AirPods, could also see an upgrade to a third version today, particularly if the higher-priced versions of the iPhone include dual-charging capabilities, which would allow users to refresh battery power in both devices at the same time.
The newer versions, which could be launched later this year and into the holiday shopping season, are also likely to carry higher price points and enhance the group's first quarter revenue projections.