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: Apple announces expected iPhone launch event, stock heads for another record

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Apple Inc.
AAPL,
+1.71%

said Tuesday it has scheduled an event for Sept. 14, at which the tech giant is expected to announce its new line of iPhones, and shares received an immediate boost toward their third straight record close.

The company said the event will launch at 1 p.m. Eastern time and can be viewed at apple.com or on the Apple TV app. Apple’s vice president of marketing also sent out the following tweet, teasing the event.

That video, and reportedly an experience included with the invite sent to special guests, employs imagery that evokes mixed reality. Apple has been working on augmented and mixed reality technology for more than five years, with Chief Executive Tim Cook describing augmented reality in 2016 as “extremely interesting” and “sort of a core technology,” a message that the CEO has continued to give while Apple has yet to put out a device that truly takes advantage of the tech.

While investors have been waiting for AR technology from Apple for years, the iPhone is still the biggest moneymaker for the most valuable U.S. company. Supply chain checks for the second half of the year suggest about 130 million to 150 million iPhones will be built, with about 35% to 45% of those built in the third quarter appearing to be the new iPhones to be announced, Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives said in a note Tuesday.

“From a spec perspective, we have increased confidence that iPhone 13 will have an eye-popping 1 terabyte storage option which is double from the highest Pro storage capacity today (512GB) and will also include a number of key enhancements with Lidar across all iPhone 13 models,” Ives, who has an outperform rating and a $185 price target on Apple shares, wrote.

Previous reporting suggests that Apple will focus on camera upgrades for the new iPhones, particularly around video features. A report that Apple planned to include a satellite connection that would offer the ability to perform certain functions was watered down a bit by later reporting that said the function would more likely be for emergencies only.

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Additionally, The Wall Street Journal recently reported that Apple is working to include more health-related features its next Apple Watch, such as a blood pressure monitor and a thermometer to help with fertility planning.

Before the official announcement, the new line of iPhones is being colloquially referred to as the “iPhone 13,” but Apple has bucked naming conventions before. For instance, there was never an “iPhone 2” or an “iPhone 9” in name, with Apple skipping right to the “iPhone 3G” and “iPhone X,” respectively. The company last unveiled its iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max with camera upgrades in October.

Apple stock is on track to close at a record high, rising about 2%, following a record close of $154.30 on Friday. Shares closed at record prices three times last week, and Apple stock has gained 18.3% so far this year, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average
DJIA,
-0.67%

— which counts Apple as a component — has increased 14.8%.

A close above $157.29 would push Apple’s market valuation above $2.6 trillion for the first time ever, according to Dow Jones market data.

The stock won’t likely get a boost on the day of the Sept. 14 announcement, if history serves as any guide. The only time Apple stock truly rallied on the day of an iPhone announcement was in January 2007, when the stock surged more than 8% on the unveiling of the original iPhone, according to Dow Jones market data. Of the 15 subsequent announcement days, shares have only finished higher three other times, and all of those gains were less than 2%, according to Dow Jones.

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