At a media event Wednesday, Apple introduced its iPhone 14 series handsets, Apple Watch Series 8 smartwatches and second-generation AirPods Pro wireless earbuds.
“With household bills all going in the wrong direction, it still represents a real test of consumer appetite as they seek out these latest shiny devices,” said PP Foresight analyst Paolo Pescatore in a note to customers. Sales of the new gadgets will be a test of “Apple’s brand in a tough economic climate where everyone is tightening their belts.”
The rough macroeconomic outlook is likely why Apple has kept iPhone 14 series prices consistent with last year’s models in the US market, Piper Sandler analyst Harsh Kumar said in a note to customers.
“Given the limited economic environment, we think this is an incremental positive for Apple,” he said. Kumar rates Apple stock as overweight or buying.
The entry-level iPhone 14 starts at $799, while the Pro models start at $999.
Apple stock is pulling back
After the event, Apple stock rose 0.9% to close at 155.96 on Wednesday. However, in today’s stock market, Apple’s stock fell 1% to 154.46.
The Apple Watch Series 8 wearables will be harder to sell than the new iPhones in the current climate, Rosenblatt Securities analyst Barton Crockett said in a note.
The Apple Watch is more of a discretionary purchase, he said. Crockett noted that Apple Watch sales were weak in the June quarter amid high inflation and macroeconomic uncertainty. He rates Apple stock as neutral.
The Apple Watch Series 8 devices start at $399. A new, high-end Ultra model for outdoor enthusiasts and adventurers costs $799.
Satellite function to spawn copycats
The iPhone 14 smartphones are equipped with satellite connectivity for emergencies in remote areas outside of cellular networks.
The satellite link is a new feature for now, but competitors are likely to follow suit soon, GlobalData analyst Anisha Bhatia said in a note. Apple’s emergency SOS service uses the Globalstar (GSAT) satellite network, as of November.
Rivals partner with satellite operators Iridium Communication (IRDM) and SpaceX, analysts say.