‘iPhone spec updates are largely minor’: Here’s what Wall Street is saying about Apple’s iPhone 15 event

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Apple unveiled its iPhone 15 and Apple Watch Series 9 on Tuesday, with the products set to launch next week.
Wall Street’s reaction to Apple’s product announcements was mixed.
“iPhone spec updates are largely minor with starting price maintained (ex-Pro Max), JPMorgan said.

Apple unveiled its new iPhone 15, Apple Watch Series 9, and Apple Watch Ultra 2 on Tuesday as it gears up for the holiday season.

The products, which are all available for purchase next week, offer incremental updates to their predecessors, including a USB-C charging port, a higher quality camera, and faster processor speeds.

Wall Street is having mixed reactions to the launch event, with the key focus being the price for the iPhones, which mostly stayed the same except for the iPhone Pro Max, which now starts at $1,199. 

Here’s how Wall Street is reacting to Apple’s most recent product launch.

JPMorgan: iPhone updates are minor.

“We believe the key takeaway from the product launches are: 1) focus remains on hardware differentiation through more aggressively innovating on the underlying silicon, and driving software features on improved chipset capabilities; 2) the company is already slowly integrating AR/VR capabilities and building the ecosystem in order to drive more content to be consumed via the Apple Vision Pro and subsequent product launches; and 3) while pricing was not effectively raised, the increase in the starting price for the Pro Max and the widening of the price differential to other models in the lineup could drive negative mix implications relative to prior years, which will be worth monitoring through early consumer demand indications,” JPMorgan said.

It later added, “iPhone spec updates are largely minor with starting price maintained (ex-Pro Max) and September availability.”

JPMorgan rates Apple at “Overweight” with a $230 price target, representing potential upside of 30%.

Wedbush: iPhone 15 launch upgrade cycle will surprise to upside.

“Apple’s iPhone 15 launch event was overall an impressive event which in our opinion lays the groundwork for a major upgrade cycle over the next year that will surprise the Street to the upside. Our Asia supply chain checks this week give us increased confidence that iPhone units should be roughly 85 million units out of the gates and could be close to 90 million as eye popping carrier promotions on the horizon will be a major catalyst for upgrades into holiday season,” Wedbush analyst Dan Ives said.

“We also expect a heavy iPhone Pro mix shift for iPhone 15 in a 75%/25% base model vs. the historical 60%/40% seen over the past few years in a major ASP tailwind for Cook & Co. especially out of China in a very heavy Pro/Max model mix,” he said.

Wedbush rates Apple at “Outperform” and raised its price target to $240 from $230, representing potential upside of 36%.

Goldman Sachs: Efforts to increase affordability should support upgrade demand.

“US carrier launch promotions for the iPhone 15 should support demand with instant and bill credits potentially covering the purchase price of the phone. For instance, AT&T had promotions to get the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro for free with an eligible trade-in. Boost Mobile is also offering a free iPhone as part of its $60/month plan, with no trade-in required. Efforts to increase affordability, combined with the improvements in hardware and ongoing investments into the Apple ecosystem should support upgrade demand and continued growth in the Apple installed base,” Goldman Sachs said.

Goldman Sachs rates Apple at “Buy” and lowered its price target to $216 from $222, representing potential upside of 23%.

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