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Consumer Reactions To Apple's 'Gather Round' Event Has Been Weak, According To Twitter Data

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Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) is buzzing. In August, it became the first company to reach a $1 trillion market value. On Wednesday, all eyes turned to Steve Jobs Theater to see what the tech behemoth would bestow upon consumers waiting to be dazzled.

Historically, the consumer reaction to the annual Keynote event has been an incredible predictor of Apple stock, having predicted its movement over the following nine months for five straight years.

A Lackluster Consumer Reaction

Two hours and four products later, the end result was a lower level of purchase intent mentions for Apple products/services than we had seen in either of the two prior years.

The green line on the chart above is a measure of consumer purchase intent of Apple products/services. Purchase intent for the 2018 Apple Keynote event was the lowest measured since 2015.

What does this mean? Frankly, it’s not a good sign for Apple. The last time purchase intent was this low for a Keynote event, Apple sales fell year-over-year for the first time in 13 years.

Apple released 4 new products: iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR and Apple Watch Series 4. How did they fare?

Apple Watch Series 4: A Threat To Fitbit (NYSE: FIT)

The Apple Watch Series 4 was the clear fan favorite. The new watch boasts FDA cleared heart monitoring features, including the ability to take an EKG and detect an irregular heartbeat. The watch can also detect falls and alert authorities if you need help. It’s like the data-connected lovechild of... Fitbit and Life Alert?

Fitbit stock plummeted as Apple revealed that the FDA had cleared significant new features on the Apple Watch. Fitbit is already struggling to keep up with an increased selection of wearable health trackers, as the declining purchase intent data in the chart below demonstrates.

Consumers often indicated intent to not only buy an Apple Watch for themselves, but also for relatives. Additionally, Consumer Happiness measures jumped following the announcement of new health features, as well as hardware upgrades.

While the Apple Watch was the most well-received product of the 2018 Keynote, it received the lowest purchase intent scores compared to previous releases. This is likely a symptom of a lack of overall enthusiasm for the event itself.

IPhone XS, XS MAX: Roses By Another Name

Consumer response to the iPhone XS, XS Max and XR was lackluster at best. These were all a tough follow-up to the iPhone X, the best-selling phone in Apple history. The only real upgrades to the iPhone X include a fancy OLED display, camera tricks and an alleged beer resistance test.

IPhone X owners are unlikely to drop another grand on a new phone that does the same old tricks. Apple faithful who have been waiting for an update are faced with the decision to splurge on a MAX or save money on the bargain XR.
In addition, a recent competitor is knocking. Purchase intent levels for Samsung Galaxy devices boomed ahead of the Apple release.

Why? Galaxy phones gave the people what they wanted.

Samsung phones have been waterproof for a while.

Gamers are making the switch via smart gaming partnerships.

All in all, Apple Could Be Facing An Uphill Battle In 2019

The size of the Purchase Intent Mention Spikes relative to each other varies drastically from one year to the next and has been a phenomenal indicator of the future performance of Apple's stock.

Unfortunately, Apple’s most recent product announcement keynote has been met with lackluster enthusiasm, and the total Purchase Intent Mentions for the day pales in comparison to the previous two years. IPhone updates were viewed by consumers with a collective yawn. Samsung’s line of Galaxy phones is beginning to accelerate in terms of consumer attention and poses a threat to the iPhone user base.
On the other hand, the Apple Watch Series 4 was a big winner, capturing attention as both a cool wearable as well as a health-monitoring system. It will be interesting to see how the products balance out in the end.

Related Links:

Sell-Side Analysts 'Gather Round' After Apple Unveils New iPhone, Watch

Apple Debuts Faster, More Durable iPhones; New Watch Enters Medical Device Territory

The preceding article is from one of our external contributors. It does not represent the opinion of Benzinga and has not been edited.

Posted-In: contributor contributorsNews Events


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