Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and its CEO Tim Cook are no strangers to groundbreaking technology. Today, the company and its executive team leaned into that history with the One More Thing event. If you missed the event, there is no need to worry. InvestorPlace has you covered with the top three Apple event takeaways and what they mean for AAPL stock.
Importantly, the event delivered just what investors expected. In September, Apple hosted a virtual event that largely focused on services, expanding into subscription bundles and the world of at-home fitness. In October, Apple finally delivered on promises for 5G-enabled iPhones, unveiling four new models. Today, the company had one more thing to share before closing out 2020.
So what was that one more thing? Apple delivered on a promise it made earlier this year to break away from Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) chips for its Mac computers. After years of reliance, it promised to use its own Apple silicon and chip architecture from Arm Holdings. The resulting chips would give it greater leverage over its supply chain, better software and hardware integration, and ultimately, improve performance for its computers.
Today Apple unveiled the M1 chip, the first step in its transition away from Intel. The breakthrough release combines security, efficiency, performance and machine learning. Importantly, it will also power three new computers that are available to order starting today.
What are these computers? Apple met investor expectations with a new 13-inch MacBook Pro and MacBook Air. However, it also delivered a surprise in the form of its next-generation Mac mini. Beyond items to add to your holiday wish list, these new Mac computers have real potential for AAPL stock.
Here are our top three investing takeaways from the AAPL event.
Takeaway No. 1: The Coronavirus Catalyst for AAPL Stock
Leading up to the Apple event, InvestorPlace Markets Analyst Luke Lango encouraged investors that a big breakthrough was coming for AAPL stock. He acknowledged that for a company with the history and size of Apple, it can be hard to move the needle. However, he saw a series of catalysts coming in its software and hardware that would take the company to the next level.
Importantly, one of these catalysts stems from the novel coronavirus. The whole world came to a screeching halt in March, and a whole lot of people have found themselves inside since. As a result, demand for personal computers for remote work and virtual learning has wildly increased.
Although Apple is not alone in the realm of personal computers, its Macs command a strong brand following. Importantly, it also has some of the best-selling 13-inch laptops, and appeals to digital creatives with its tech integrations. That means even without the improvements from the Arm-based chips, Lango was bullish on the PC potential behind AAPL stock.
That catalyst got even stronger today. During the event, Apple carefully tailored the appeal of its MacBook Pro and MacBook Air to the work-from-home and learning-from-home crowds. The new computers come with improved battery life. Importantly, they also come with enhancements that should boost the video call experience. Improved graphics processing, longer battery life and video streaming improvements make these new laptops ideal for the virtual world.
There is one more thing here to note. Investors were not betting on a desktop computer during the launch event. However, Apple delivered, unveiling a new Mac mini that runs on the M1 chip. As people spend more time with their laptops and desktop computers, we have already seen other tech companies roll out enhancements with customers in mind.
This digital-first world is not going away, and Apple looks ready to conquer it for the long term.
Takeaway No. 2: Apple Remains a Top Competitor
Leading up to the event, many experts speculated on just how rocky of a transition Apple would face. After the company first announced its plans to leave Intel behind, Ina Fried wrote for Axios that the transition could cause hiccups for Apple, customers and software developers. However, Fried had optimism that unlike other companies, Apple was in a good position to navigate this move.
On a similar note, Dieter Bohn shared that optimism via The Verge. Although making the move away from the familiar realm of Intel chips and into the world of in-house silicon poses challenges, Apple has been rather bold. Predictions called for Apple to release a 13-inch MacBook Pro. The company did just that, showcasing how its new laptops will allow digital creatives even more power to edit video and share their content.
As Bohn wrote leading up to the Apple event, releasing the pro model of a laptop that uses brand-new technology is a big step. Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), which has similarly transitioned its Windows computers to Arm-based chips, has not gone so far. Instead, Bohn wrote that Microsoft primarily relies on mid-range devices in terms of pricing and performance. Apple claims that its new computers are three times faster than their Windows rivals.
Because Apple actually delivered and unveiled its pro model, it looks like the company is ready to maintain its dominance in this new challenge. We similarly saw this in October with the launch of the four iPhone 12 models. Apple was not the first to the world of 5G smartphones. In fact, other suppliers beat it to the race by several months. That did not deter Apple, and it has not weighed on the enthusiasm for the newest models. Instead, when Apple made its entrance into the competition, it made waves by associating its strong brand name with the latest tech.
With orders kicking off today, we should soon know just how much these laptops will move the needle for Apple.
Takeaway No. 3: Apps, Apps, Apps
Consumers definitely matter during an announcement like this. In fact, much of the One More Thing event appealed to the different ways PC users could benefit from a new Mac. However, because of the switch away from Intel and the launch of its new macOS Big Sur operating system, another demographic was in focus.
Leading up to the event, there was a lot of discussion about apps. Which apps would be available on the new Mac computers? How would developers transition their apps from Intel chips to Arm-based chips? Would we see iOS apps on the new macOS? And what would that experience across different hardware feel like for users?
Today we got a few answers to those questions. Apple promised that through macOS Big Sur, more apps will be available than ever before on Mac computers. Universal chips — designed to function on both Intel and Arm-based chips — will help with this. Additionally, the company is trying to ease the process and get developers on board through Rosetta 2, a transition layer that will make Intel-based apps instantly available.
Also importantly, Apple made sure to flaunt that several big-name companies would make their apps available on the newest Mac computers. One area in question ahead of the event was the Adobe (NASDAQ:ADBE) Creative Suite. During a pre-recorded app demo, Adobe was a friendly participant. This bodes well as computer geeks around the world figure out if and when they will purchase the newest Mac computers.
The last part of this question is the blending of the Apple ecosystem. We did see today some features from the new Mac computers and macOS Big Sur that indicate this blending is coming. Apps have more iOS-style icons, and the computers have familiar touch ID and control center features. How far this goes in the future is yet to be determined, but it is something to keep in mind.
The Bottom Line on the Apple Event
After an initially positive reaction that saw AAPL stock creep higher, shares are headed into the red.
However, there is no need to worry. As we have seen with similar launch events from Apple and even Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA), sometimes expectations become sky high. Investors were also hoping for everything from new tracking devices to a new Apple TV during the Mac event. The company focused exclusively on the world of Macs, perhaps failing to meet those expectations. It is also just a rough day for the market, as investors continue to process the worsening coronavirus situation and the election.
In other words, look to the future. Any insight we get into the newest Mac sales and the state of demand for personal computers will be a good indicator for AAPL stock. If nothing else, Apple showed today that it has the power to constantly stay relevant.
On the date of publication, Sarah Smith did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article.
Sarah Smith is a Web Content Producer for InvestorPlace.com.