After a stellar 2020 and a promising start to 2021, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) shareholders have had a rough few months. From Jan. 26 (right before the company reported record revenue) to early March, AAPL stock dropped 19%. It’s been rallying for the past three weeks, but on April 20, we may see the catalyst that kicks it back into growth mode. Apple has announced its “Spring Loaded” event.
Here’s what to expect from this year’s first Apple event when it kicks off at 1 p.m. EST on Tuesday, April 20.
5 Products to Boost AAPL Stock: Refreshed iPads
Apple has been much more focused on its iPad lineup over the past several years, and that attention has paid off. After years of sliding sales, Apple began to invest in the iPad lineup. That paid off with an 11.5% year-over-year increase in iPad revenue in fiscal year 2020.
On Tuesday, Apple is widely expected to show off new iPad Pro models equipped with Mini-LED displays, new fast A14 processors, optional 5G and possibly a Thunderbolt port. The upgrades would make the iPad Pro incredibly powerful, with a more vivid display and faster wired connectivity to peripherals. Leaked images of a third-generation Apple Pencil stylus to accompany the new iPads have also been making the rounds.
No other product has moved the AAPL stock needle the way iPhones have. But those won’t be announced until September (the last iPhone launch was just held in October 2020).
However, another release has had an oversized impact on Apple revenue in recent years: AirPods. The wireless earbuds came out of nowhere to dominate the wireless headphone industry. In 2019, it was estimated that if AirPods were a standalone company, it would rank at number 384 on the Fortune 500. Apple has only grown that business since then.
One of the most hotly anticipated products at the Spring Loaded Event are third-generation AirPods.
Apple has a habit of studying other app and accessory makers, then releasing its own versions of popular offerings. Signs are pointing to that fate befalling Tile, the maker of popular Bluetooth tracking tags for mobile devices.
Signs (including leaked prototype accessories) have been pointing to Apple releasing its own version, dubbed “Air Tags.” The Apple version would take advantage of proprietary technology, including the U1 ultra wide-band chip for precision location down to the inch and the end-to-end encryption used by Apple’s “Find My” location tracking feature.
Apple’s iMac all-in-one desktop PC has been largely unchanged for years. However, it could be the next Apple computer to get the M1 processor upgrade — plus an all-new design.
Apple ditched Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) processors in new MacBook Air and MacBook Pro models last fall. Instead, the company used its own M1 chips, which were significantly more powerful and battery-efficient. Those new MacBooks — along with the pandemic — helped Apple to achieve nearly 50% year-over-year Mac sales in Q4 2020. In its latest quarter, Apple reported Mac division revenue of $9.03 billion, up 29%.
The rumor mill is convinced that the company will unveil all-new iMacs at Tuesday’s Apple event. Apple could also be turning to a proven strategy of using color to goose up sales, in addition to making the switch to the powerful M1 processor. We could see new iMacs that look like large iPad Pros mounted on stands, with aluminum shells offered in a variety of colors. Display size could be increasing with the reduction of bezels, with 24-inch and 30-inch or 32-inch versions being suggested (compared to the current offering of 21.5 inches and 27 inches).
Supporting that theory, the iMac has been seeing inventory run low at Apple Stores — suggesting the company is clearing stock out to make way for new versions. In addition, the iMac Pro was discontinued altogether in March.
The transition to the M1 processor and the boost it offers to Mac computers is bad news for Intel, but it could prove to be a real catalyst for AAPL stock growth in 2021.
Long Shot: A New Apple TV?
The Apple TV 4K set-top streamer is getting long in the tooth and remains expensive compared to the competition. The cheapest model goes for $179, compared to under $50 for 4K streamers from competitors like Roku (NASDAQ:ROKU). Apple has also discontinued its HomePod smart speaker, leaving the company with only the HomePod Mini.
Speculation has been growing that Apple is planning a new Apple TV, but one that’s incorporated in a soundbar. This move would allow the company to release a premium product, while justifying the price with its multiple functions. Doing so would put a larger HomePod speaker back in the lineup. An improved streaming experience would also help to move more Apple TV+ subscriptions. One hint popped up in a recent tvOS beta, which seemed to reference a new Apple TV remote.
A new Apple TV is a long shot for Tuesday, but it’s definitely a possibility. You can also expect to see mention of spring-themed accessories, like new colors for Apple Watch bands or iPhone cases.
Apple will be streaming the Spring Loaded event starting at 1 p.m. on April 20. Keep an eye out to see all of Apple’s new gear showed off onstage. And keep an eye on AAPL stock as the market reacts to what the company announces.
As of this writing, Brad Moon did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.
Brad Moon has been writing for InvestorPlace.com since 2012. He also writes about stocks for Kiplinger and has been a senior contributor focusing on consumer technology for Forbes since 2015.