This is a big week for Planet Apple. From June 4-8, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) hosts its 2018 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) with a keynote address on June 4 at 1pm ET. As Steve Jobs described the Apple ecosystem at his last WWDC in 2011, “If the hardware is the brain and sinew of our products, the software in them is their soul.”
So what’s on the cards for this year’s event? Five-star Monness analyst Brian White has just revealed his 3 top WWDC predictions. “Even with the recent stock rebound, we continue to view Apple as one of the most underappreciated stocks in the world” states White.
He reiterated his buy rating on AAPL with a $235 price target on June 1. This indicates big upside potential for Apple of 24%. As we can see from his TipRanks profile, he scores an impressive 76% success rate and 23% average return on AAPL stock specifically. So with this in mind, let’s take a closer look at his 3 key WWDC predictions now:
1. Welcome to iOS12
This software is fundamental to the Apple smartphone experience. The iOS 12 operating system will be the backbone of Apple’s new phones and software updates. According to a Bloomberg report, Apple will introduce a new (and perhaps surprising) initiative called Digital Health. This helps users spend less time on their phones, curbing smartphone addiction and better enabling parents to monitor children’s phone usage.
“Given the importance of the iPhone to the Apple product family, new iOS innovations tend to get a fair amount of airtime at WWDC and we expect this will be true with iOS 12 next week” states White. He adds “In light of the Cambridge Analytica fiasco, we wouldn’t be surprised if Tim Cook spends a couple of minutes reinforcing Apple’s commitment to protect customer privacy.”
2. A whole new reality
Are you ready? White expects artificial intelligence to be a big theme at WWDC this year. Indeed, Apple recently poached Google’s head of AI John Giannandrea to boost its AI capabilities.
Potential new features include integrating live face-based Emojis (known as Animojis) into FaceTime, and games that friends can play against each other in augmented reality. Following Google’s lead, Apple is also likely to make these games available to both Android and iPhone users.
“Given Apple’s growing support for AR [augmented reality] with the unveiling of ARKit at last year’s WWDC, we expect the company to expand its AR capabilities” says White. ARKit is a software development kit for developers to make augmented-reality apps. These apps augment reality by placing virtual objects in the physical world.
3. The HomePod resurfaces
HomePod was the star of the 2017 WWDC. And now we can expect some further developments for this smart speaker. White writes: “we expect the company to provide an update on its progress, discuss the new features supporting HomePod announced this week with iOS 11.4 and possibly provide more color on its future development.”
An iPad update isn’t guaranteed, although White is expecting some sort of refresh for the Mac portfolio, combined with an update to macOS. At last year’s WWDC, Apple introduced macOS High Sierra that added support for Virtual Reality (VR) content, and further VR commentary next week is highly likely.
Word on The Street
White is certainly on the bullish side when it comes to Apple stock. Overall Apple has a cautiously optimistic ‘Moderate Buy’ consensus rating, with analysts almost equally divided between Hold and Buy. You can click on the graph for further insights. See how Maxim Group’s Nehal Chokshi downgraded Apple only four days ago due to iPhone demand concerns:
Find fresh investing inspiration now
TipRanks’ new Trending Stocks tool takes advantage of our big data capabilities to scan stock recommendations from over 4,700 analysts, giving users the most up-to-date and objective picture of the market while revealing which stocks analysts are really getting excited about.
At the click of a button users can discover the best, worst and most rated stocks in the last few days. Looking for investment ideas? This is a great place to start.
For example did you know about the upcoming E3 Expo in Los Angeles that begins June 12? Word on the Street is that video gaming giant Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA) is the stock to watch into the event. EA currently boasts a ‘Strong Buy’ consensus rating with 10 recent buy ratings and only 1 hold rating. Plus note that shares are already up 29% year-to-date.