Apple's fall product announcements, including the iPhone 14 family, earned positive reviews from Wall Street analysts. But Apple stock fell on Thursday as some wonder if consumers will be in a buying mood.
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 heading in the wrong direction, it still represents a real test of consumer appetite in forking out for these latest shiny devices," PP Foresight analyst Paolo Pescatore said in a note to clients. Sales of the new gadgets will be a test of "Apple's brand in a tough economic climate with everyone tightening their belts."
The rough macroeconomic outlook is likely why Apple kept pricing of the iPhone 14 series consistent with last year's models in the U.S. market, Piper Sandler analyst Harsh Kumar said in a note to clients.
"Given the constrained economic environment, we think this is an incremental positive for Apple," he said. Kumar rates Apple stock as overweight, or buy.
The entry-level iPhone 14 starts at $799 while the Pro models start at $999.
Apple Stock Pulls Back
After the event, Apple stock rose 0.9% to close at 155.96 on Wednesday. However, on the stock market today, Apple stock dropped 1% to 154.46.
The Apple Watch Series 8 wearables will be a tougher 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 Feature To Spawn Copycats
The iPhone 14 smartphones feature satellite connectivity for emergencies in remote areas beyond cellular networks.
The satellite link is a novel feature for now but competitors are likely to follow suit soon, GlobalData analyst Anisha Bhatia said in a note. Apple's Emergency SOS service will use the Globalstar satellite network, starting in November.
Rivals are working with satellite operators Iridium Communications and SpaceX, analysts say.
The Pro models of the iPhone 14 have an always-on display with a new activity alert feature. They also sport an improved camera with 48-megapixel resolution, three-times optical zoom and better low-light imaging. Plus, the Pro models get a speedier processor, the new A16 chip, than the regular models.
The iPhone 14 handsets use eSim technology so people can easily connect or quickly transfer their existing plans digitally instead of using a physical SIM card.
Apple stock has an IBD Composite Rating of 88, according to IBD Stock Checkup. The best growth stocks have a Composite Rating of 90 or better, based on IBD trading guidelines.
Follow Patrick Seitz on Twitter at @IBD_PSeitz for more stories on consumer technology, software and semiconductor stocks.