Apple (AAPL) has released a new mobility data trends tool from Apple Maps to help mitigate the spread of Covid-19. Using aggregated data collected from Apple Maps, the new website indicates mobility trends for major cities and 63 countries or regions.
The information is generated by counting the number of requests made to Apple Maps for directions. The data sets are then compared to reflect a change in volume of people driving, walking or taking public transit around the world.
According to AAPL, this data may provide helpful insights to local governments and health authorities and may even be used as a foundation for new public policies. Data availability in a particular city, country, or region is subject to a number of factors, including minimum thresholds for direction requests made per day.
However the company is keen to stress that Maps does not associate mobility data with a user’s Apple ID, and Apple does not keep a history of where a user has been. Data collected by Maps is associated with random, rotating identifiers that continually reset, so Apple doesn’t have a profile of your movements and searches.
“Apple’s contributions to society during this COVID-19 crisis have been nothing short of heroic, including sourcing over 20 million N95 face masks for donation, initiating face shield production and more” cheered Monness analyst Brian White on April 13.
Even though these are ‘treacherous waters’, the analyst remains confident that “Apple’s strong balance sheet, iconic brand, rapidly growing services business, pipeline of innovations and hardline stance on personal privacy will allow the company to ultimately emerge from this downturn stronger than it entered.” He has a buy rating on the stock and $370 price target.
Indeed AAPL shows a cautiously optimistic Moderate Buy analyst consensus on TipRanks with an average analyst price target of $307 (7% upside potential). With an 11% gain in the last five days, the stock is now trading down just 2% on a year-to-date basis. (See AAPL’s stock analysis on TipRanks)
Meanwhile Apple received another bullish call from Tigress Financial analyst Ivan Feinseth on April 15. He notes that AAPL has already seen a rebound in iPhone sales in China last month after experiencing a significant Covid-19 related decline in February.
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