While the iPhone represents the lion’s share of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) revenue, other hardware divisions are still very important to the bottom line. The Mac and iPad divisions combined for nearly $10 billion in sales last quarter, making them a critical factor in AAPL stock valuation. And it looks like the company is set to open the floodgate on new products from these teams. Regulatory filings were uncovered showing Apple is preparing to release five new iPads and five new Mac models.
We know the hardware is coming and we know the releases are Macs and iPads, but beyond that is where speculation takes over.
EEC Filing Reveals New iPads and New Macs
MacRumors reported that earlier this week, Apple registered new products with the European Economic Commission (EEC). This is a necessary first step for products that are going to be sold in Russia and Eastern Europe, and in the past these filings have provided the first official verification that AAPL is set to release new hardware.
The tougher part is trying to figure out what the new hardware actually is… The filings always include coded model numbers and the operating system the hardware runs but no other technical details. Based on what Apple registered it looks like five new Macs and five new iPads are on their way.
What to Expect, Based on EEC Filings and Apple Rumors
The art of predicting what to expect in terms of new hardware releases from Apple — and how that could impact AAPL stock — is combining what’s known and what’s conjecture. What is known are the scant details Apple provides in those EEC filings, plus clues to new hardware that are scattered within new and beta versions of its operating systems. When combined with rumors (which typically start with leaked info out of Apple’s supply chain to analysts who specialize in AAPL stock), we start to get a pretty good idea of what the company is up to.
At this point it looks as though Apple will release updates to its 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro laptops and the MacBook. Each of these could use a refresh with new processors, and it’s possible the company could include a tweaked keyboard given the problems the ultra-thin “butterfly” keys are causing with current models.
Rumors have also been swirling about a major overhaul or replacement for the 13-inch MacBook Air.
Apple’s most affordable laptop remains popular, but it is terribly out of date.
A new MacBook Air –especially if it arrived in time for back-to-school– would be a big boost to Mac hardware sales. And with Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) working toward cheaper, thinner Windows 10 on ARM laptops, an all-new MacBook Air would also be a good defensive move by Apple.
On the iPad front, AAPL already released a new low-cost iPad earlier this year. That means we are likely looking at a handful of new iPad Pro models. The range of five probably doesn’t represent five sizes (there are currently two), but variations including LTE support.
Ever since the release of the iPhone X last fall, Bloomberg and other publications have been predicting Apple is working on porting its facial recognition technology to the iPad Pro lineup. Odds are good that the 2018 iPad Pro models will include TrueDepth cameras for FaceID support. That will also let them ditch the Home button for thinner bezels and a more compact size.
The Bottom Line for AAPL Stock
The EEC filings don’t necessarily translate into imminent release dates, and AAPL seldom announces new hardware during summer months.
However, the company clearly has a big selection of new Mac and iPad hardware in the wings. With the 2018 iPhones due in September, it’s all pointing to a killer fall for Apple, full of new product launches that could propel AAPL stock and possibly even hit that elusive $1 trillion market cap.
As of this writing, Brad Moon did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.