Despite facing challenges in China, Apple is gearing up for the highly anticipated launch of the iPhone 15. However, the recent ban on iPhones for central government officials at work has added another layer of complexity to their business in this key market.
China has instructed government officials and employees at certain regulators to refrain from using Apple's iPhones or other foreign-branded devices for work purposes. This move has raised concerns about how Chinese consumers might interpret the government's stance on Apple and other foreign brands within the country. Adding to Apple's apprehensions, state-backed media in China has been highlighting Huawei's latest smartphone as a major technological breakthrough, positioning it as a potential rival to Apple.
While such measures by central governments can have an impact, they do not necessarily alter consumer behavior significantly. For instance, last year, TikTok was banned on government devices in the United States, but this did not dampen its popularity among American users.
Looking ahead, the crucial question for Apple is whether the iPhone 15 launch, expected on September 12, can provide a catalyst for the company's stock. Analysts at CFRA remain optimistic about the prospects.
According to CFRA's Angelo Zino, they conservatively project a 5% growth in iPhone revenue during the iPhone 15 cycle. This projection takes into account easier year-over-year comparisons due to Covid-related supply constraints in the previous December quarter and lower overall units sold during the iPhone 14 cycle.
While CFRA's current forecasts do not account for any increase in prices, Zino suggests that Apple may choose to raise the price of its premium Pro devices by $100. This move could result in a 6%-8% upside to CFRA's iPhone revenue estimates.
As of now, Apple shares were down 0.7% in premarket trading on Wednesday but had experienced a 46% increase in value over the course of this year.