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Apple (AAPL) Raises iPhone Production Order to a Record 90M

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Apple (AAPL - Free Report) is planning to manufacture 90 million units of upcoming iPhones this year, a sharp increase from 2020 shipments of roughly 75 million, per a Bloomberg report. Apple shares hit a 52-week high of $149.57 on Jul 14, eventually closing at $149.15, up 2.41% on the day, following the news.

The raise in iPhone manufacture order reflects Apple’s confidence on continuing strong demand for its signature product. The upcoming device will be the second 5G-supported version of iPhone. Notably, Apple's second-quarter fiscal 2021 iPhone sales benefited from strong demand for the 5G-enabled iPhone 12 family.

As supply chain issues get resolved, Apple is expected to launch the next-generation device in September, earlier than last year. The company has been rumored to launch four new iPhone models – iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro, and iPhone 13 Pro Max (codenamed as D16, D17, D63, and D64 per the Bloomberg report). Some analysts believe that Apple can name the upcoming iPhone series as iPhone 12S.

This year’s iPhones are expected to feature incremental improvements in processor, camera and display. Apple has been speculated to add a battery with a larger capacity as it plans to introduce ProMotion display technology and an always-on display, both of which consume more power.

One of the new models is expected to feature low-temperature polycrystalline oxide (“LTPO”) display and indium gallium zinc oxide technology. These will enhance iPhone’s power efficiency and responsiveness. The company already uses the LTPO technology in Apple Watch.

Although the core design of the iPhones is expected to remain unchanged, Apple is likely to reduce the size of the front-facing camera, Face ID cutout or the notch. Notable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo expects the notch to get smaller this year. In terms of camera, Apple is rumored to offer an improved optical zoom.

Is Apple a Buy Prior to Q3 Earnings?

Apple, which currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), is riding on strong demand for iPhone 12, revamped iPad and Mac line-up of devices, healthcare-focused Apple Watch, and an expanding App Store ecosystem. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Apple Inc. Price and Consensus

Apple Inc. Price and Consensus

Apple Inc. price-consensus-chart | Apple Inc. Quote


Moreover, momentum in the Services segment is expected to continue to be driven by App Store, Cloud Services, Music, advertising and AppleCare. The company recently launched Apple Podcast Subscriptions for listeners in more than 170 countries. The launch is likely to boost its competitive position in the podcasting space against the likes of Spotify (SPOT - Free Report) as well as Alphabet’s (GOOGL - Free Report) Google podcasts and YouTube.

Apple’s endeavors to open up its ecosystem through partnerships with the likes of Samsung and Amazon (AMZN - Free Report) are positives for its Services segment. The subscription-based Apple TV+, Apple News and Apple Arcade services are expected to benefit from the company’s strong installed base. Markedly, Apple currently has more than 660 million paid subscribers across its Services portfolio.

Apple devices continue to gain traction among enterprises, which is a key catalyst. Additionally, Apple’s focus on user privacy, as reflected by its latest iOS 15, iPadOS 15, macOS Monterey, and watchOS 8 updates (all to be launched later this year), is a game changer.

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