Apple has had a great year despite the COVID-19 pandemic headwind, as demand for the products of the company founded by Steve Jobs grew during what was possibly the worst quarter for businesses around the world – the second quarter of 2020.
Apple sales grew almost 11% year-on-year during this quarter, showing how consumers were still eager to buy iPhones and MacBooks while they remained locked in at home.
Apple’s stock has exploded this year as well as a result of this resilience, posting a 71.2% gain so far this year against an 8.7% rise in the market as a whole as reflected by the S&P 500 index.
Investors seem to be drawn to buy Apple shares due to the company’s long-term growth prospects and the strength of its brand, as both things appear to be unshaken by the economic turmoil caused by the pandemic.
Now that we are further advanced in the second half of 2020, there are still a few big events and announcements ahead for Apple and here’s a brief summary of what could be expected from the Cupertino-based tech firm.
Apple’s dispute with Epic Games
Apple’s recent decision to terminate Epic Games account on the App Store has been very controversial, especially in the midst of growing concerns about the firm’s monopolistic behavior.
The developers of the popular game Fortnite are apparently not willing to go down without a fight, which is not necessarily good news for Apple’s reputation, considering that the company headed by Tim Cook is known for being a developer-friendly platform.
It is unclear at this stage if this decision – and Epic Games’ upcoming legal battle – will result in long-lasting damages to Apple’s reputation, but it is certainly a situation to keep an eye on, as other developers could take the opportunity to step up and demand better conditions – which would hurt the company’s top-line.
Apple’s big event in September
The COVID-19 pandemic has effectively delayed Apple’s key annual event – the unveiling of its new iPhone version – scheduled for September this year, as the company stated that the event will be held a bit later than expected due to supply chain delays associated to the pandemic.
That said, Apple is still expected to launch its brand new portfolio of iPhones soon including the iPhone 12 – potentially along with other devices – with consumers, investors, and industry specialists increasingly focusing in how these news models will incorporate 5G capabilities, upgraded cameras, sensors, and a higher degree of intuitiveness – something Apple has excelled at delivering for years.
The company is still holding off from releasing a date for this long-awaited event but experts are apparently confident that it will take place before the end of October.
What’s on Apple’s product pipeline at the moment?
According to experts who have been following Apple’s moves for years, one of the products that could be released this year is a new version of the iPhone SE – the company’s low-budget version.
This new version could potentially be similar to the iPhone 8, incorporating a 4.7-inch display and an A13 processor – an upgrade from the 8’s technical specs – while costing significantly less – possibly at $399 per unit.
Meanwhile, there’s also the possibility that Apple will be introducing changes to the MacBook’s keyboard – shifting to a scissor keyboard instead of a butterfly mechanism, which has been very criticized by users due to its noise and dust ingress.
Finally, there are a lot of rumors about an upcoming augmented reality (AR) device that Apple could be launching soon – although experts say it is highly unlikely that the launch will take place this year.
This new device could be a head-mounted AR product which will be primarily promoted as an add-on for the iPhone, although – same as with all Apple devices – it is possible that other devices including the iPad and the MacBook will have the capacity of pairing with it.
Apple continues to successfully navigate the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, with the demand for its innovative products apparently unchanged despite the economic headwind caused by the health emergency.
The company’s ability to launch new products that fascinate its faithful consumers remains one of its key strengths and this year – regardless of the unprecedented situation – appears to be one in which Apple will not back down from achieving that.