But Apple might not be the only one that will benefit from the Sept. 12 event, which is expected to bring the release of the 10th anniversary version of its flagship smartphone, as well as announcements around other key products, such as the Apple TV, Apple Watch and possibly the HomePod.
The much-anticipated launch event could generate some needed positive buzz around Snap Inc. (SNAP) - Get Report , according to Drexel Hamilton analyst Brian White. Along with a slew of product announcements, Apple is likely to give an in-depth look into ARKit, the augmented reality developer platform that will become available on iPhones and iPads via iOS 11. This could bode well for Snap, which has placed big bets on AR technology via lenses and filters on the Snapchat app and Spectacles, its interactive camera glasses.
Shares of Snap were rising 0.4% to $14.33 on Tuesday morning. The stock has fallen 41.7% so far this year, however.
"As one of the early pioneers in the AR trend, we believe Apple's event on September 12 with the expected unveiling of the iPhone 8 with 3D sensing capabilities will open up new opportunities for Snap," White wrote in a note to clients on Tuesday.
The upcoming iPhone, referred to some as the iPhone 8, is also expected to pack a 3D sensing camera that would help power ARKit and tons of AR capabilities. White said in a phone interview that the "extra special" 3D sensor would open up a number of opportunities for Snap to create innovative products. One big way could involve using ARKit to build new advertising tools. Snap hasn't integrated advertising into its interactive Snap Maps, but that could be one use case, White said.
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"There's a lot of interesting opportunities with geofilters and lenses where you walk into a store or an area where there's revenue attached," White explained. "Starbucks is a good example, which created its own geofilter lens."
White, who has a Buy rating and $30 price target, is one of the most bullish analysts on Snap, maintaining the highest stock price target among 35 analysts surveyed by FactSet. The beleaguered social media upstart has endured several rough months since it went public in March, reporting two disappointing quarters and continuing to flounder under the weight of its competitor, Facebook Inc. (FB) - Get Report . Snap has tried to fight off those pressures by focusing on its ad platform and trying to increase engagement on the app via original programming and AR-powered filters and lenses.
Augmented reality technology works by layering computer-generated graphics, sounds or GPS data onto real-world environments, such as live video. Snapchat filters such as the dancing hot dog, which Snap CEO Evan Spiegel recently referred to as the "world's first augmented reality superstar," uses AR to add moving graphics onto a smartphone screen. Spiegel also noted that the dancing hot dog feature was viewed 1.5 billion times on Snapchat.
Apple and Snap are part of a wider AR movement in Silicon Valley, which also includes tech juggernauts such as Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL) - Get Report and Facebook. Google unveiled Lens in May, which uses a smartphone's camera to understand the world around you. And in April, Facebook launched AR Studio, a developer platform that lets people create interactive photo and video effects.