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Apple and the iPhone Business: 3 Highlights for Investors


May. 4 2020, Updated 9:15 a.m. ET

The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted global operating and economic environments. The outbreak has forced businesses to shut down. Also, the pandemic has slashed household incomes. Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone business has also been impacted by the pandemic. However, investors have started flocking back to Apple stock. There’s hope in the market that the company might have gotten past the worst of the pandemic.

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Apple’s iPhone business amid COVID-19

Apple doesn’t release iPhone unit sales, which used to shed more light on the progress in the iPhone business. However, the past three months haven’t been great for Apple’s iPhone division. The iPhone revenue fell 6.8% year-over-year to $29 billion in the three months through March 2020.

Notably, the weakness in the iPhone business in the March quarter came as the pandemic hit iPhone demand, including in China, and forced Apple to close its retail stores.

iPhone 12 launch, pricing, and specs

The pandemic headwinds haven’t stopped Apple from pressing on with the annual refresh of its iPhone business. In addition to the iPhone SE released last month, the company plans to launch four more iPhone models this year.

All four of the models are the iPhone 12. They will all support 5G connectivity. However, they will come in different specs, sizes, and prices ranging from $649–$1,099. The most expensive model is the iPhone 12 Pro Max. The model will feature three cameras and a 6.7-inch screen with an OLED display.

Usually, Apple releases new iPhone models in September. The company hopes to maintain the tradition. However, the pandemic could cause iPhone 12 series launch delays this year.

Apple stock continues to recover

Some investors dumped Apple stock due to challenges in the iPhone business amid the pandemic. At $289 currently, Apple stock has recovered 70% from its pandemic lows. At this point, the stock still trades at about a 12% discount to its 52-week high of $328.

Notably, Apple stock made some gains the day the company unveiled the low-cost iPhone SE. The market responded positively to the iPhone SE with early orders exceeding the expectations. The device costs $399 but can be purchased on an installment basis for less than $10 per month.

The iPhone business is Apple’s main revenue source. However, Apple wants to diversify its revenue sources outside handset sales.


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