Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is kicking off 2021 with its first product launch of the year, and analysts and tech geeks alike are getting ready for the “Spring Loaded” Apple Event. CEO Tim Cook will go live from Cupertino to walk through spring product launches and share company updates. So what should investors be watching? And what possible impacts could “Spring Loaded” have on Apple stock?
To start, investors should set an alarm for 1:00 p.m. Eastern. That is when the “Spring Loaded” event will officially start. You can tune in here.
Beyond that, InvestorPlace contributors, Wall Street analysts and Apple fans have rounded up some of the top expectations for the event. Here is what they could mean for Apple stock.
Spring Loaded Apple Event: New iPads Coming
As InvestorPlace contributor Brad Moon wrote recently, investors should really start to pay attention to the iPad. That is because Apple is paying more attention to its iPad lineup, and revenue is following.
In fact, the company recently reported that revenue from the lineup increased 11.5% year-over-year in fiscal 2020. Now Apple wants to build on this success, and there is perhaps no better way to do that than to spark excitement over new iPads. That is why one of the top expectations for the “Spring Loaded” event is a new generation of iPads — an iPad Pro, iPad mini and a standard iPad.
So what will these new iPads come with? And why do they matter? Right now, experts are calling for the new iPads to feature mini-LED displays, A14X processors and optional 5G. Rumors are also circulating following the leak of a picture of a third-generation Apple Pencil stylus. As Wedbush analyst Dan Ives wrote, this next generation of iPads will also come with a price hike for the company.
Importantly, Covid-19 has been a big boost to the iPads. More consumers have turned to them as productivity devices, helping corporate America respond to a shift in working from home. Beyond that, the image of the iPad has cemented itself as a symbol of connectivity during the pandemic. Hospitals have even used them to connect sick patients with their loved ones.
With this changing status of the iPad, the “Spring Loaded” is worth watching. Apple stock could get a boost if analysts think what the company unveils will drive consumer demand.
One thing to watch: Nikkei reported at the start of April 2021 that the ongoing chip shortage was weighing on Apple… and on iPad production. Will this headwind play a part in new product announcements?
Could AirTags Give New Fitness Offerings a Boost?
Earlier in the pandemic, Apple made a big move into the world of working out from home. As part of changes to its subscription bundles, the company unveiled its Apple Fitness Plus offering, a rival to Peloton (NASDAQ:PTON) and Lululemon (NASDAQ:LULU). Just yesterday, Apple updated its Fitness Plus to include more options for a wide range of customers.
So where does the “Spring Loaded” Apple Event come in? Many experts are calling for Apple to finally unveil its AirTags today. These tracking tiles are meant to rival a product from Tile, and to hang on keychains, wallets, and other personal possessions. Through the “Find My” feature, Apple customers could use these AirTags to keep track of their most-valuable items. While this is exciting on its own, a report from The Verge shows that there is so more to the story.
According to patents that Apple has filed, there may be a wider variety of use cases for the AirTags than previously imagined. One of these use cases could be as a supplement to the fitness subscription offerings and the Apple Watch. More specifically, The Verge wrote that Apple may intend to offer the AirTags as a way to monitor user posture.
Although that is far from the main appeal of the AirTags, consumers have rapidly turned to home fitness offerings during the pandemic. Further leveraging its status in the space through the AirTags is a potential upside catalyst for Apple stock.
Spring Loaded Apple Event: Investors Want AirPods 3
In 2016, industry experts say that Apple introduced a paradigm shift to the world of headphones.
Another way of saying that is its AirPods changed the game, introducing a leading program in wireless earbuds. Sales have remained high, and the success of Apple has inspired other brands to launch competitive products. In the middle of the r/WallStreetBets frenzy, some even thought this could be a meaningful catalyst for Reddit favorite Koss (NASDAQ:KOSS).
Apple did face a drop in demand at the start of the pandemic, particularly as supply-chain concerns and production delays weighed on its business. However, that quickly turned around. By mid-summer, AirPods sales were powering ahead, and investors were taking note. In fact, one report says that the compounded annual growth rate for wireless headphones from 2020-2026 will come in at 20%. Apple AirPods are a key driver of that.
Today, the hope is that Apple will unveil its AirPods 3. As Moon wrote, this is one of the most hotly anticipated products, but Apple may not fully deliver. Instead, look for a subtle hint about the AirPods, as Ives speculates. If Apple goes above and beyond those expectations, Apple stock could get a boost.
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 with InvestorPlace.com.