On September 7, Apple (NYSE: AAPL) would hold its launch event. It has been an annual event for years now but was delayed in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s what analysts are expecting from the launch event, which is quite popular among gadget enthusiasts.

The event was last held live in 2019. For the last two years, the event was held offline and Apple released pre-recorded videos. Now, as most COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted, Apple would be holding the event in person.

Apple’s fiscal year ends in September. The launch event is timed strategically in September as it not only helps buoy sales in the last month of the fiscal year but also builds momentum for the festive season.

In the last two festive seasons, Apple’s sales were constrained by supply, thanks to the global supply chain outages. The company lost $4 billion in sales in the June quarter also due to supply chain issues. For the current quarter, it said that the revenue loss would be below $4 billion.

Gadget Sales are Expected to Fall in 2022

However, the supply chain situation for gadget makers has greatly improved and if anything, some of the products like PCs are facing oversupply. Even Apple also reported a YoY fall in its Mac revenues in the recent quarter, but still, its overall revenues rose due to higher revenues from iPhone and services.

Recently, HP also warned of slowing PC sales during its fiscal second-quarter earnings call. The company’s consumer sales tumbled in the quarter even as enterprise sales were strong. Gartner expects global PC volumes to fall 9.5% this year while Micron expects them to fall 10% YoY.

What to Expect from the Apple Launch Event

As has been the case since 2012, Apple is expected to launch a new iPhone model at the event. While iPhone 12, which was released in 2020, helped propel the company’s sales, the sales of the iPhone 13, which was released last year, were relatively muted. However, it is also a function of the slowing US and global economy.

Global smartphone volumes are expected to drop 5% this year and Apple would want to buck the trend with the new iPhone. While the name hasn’t been officially announced, going by the conventions, it might be called iPhone 14.

Apple might reportedly launch four new iPhone models this year but might discontinue the mini version. The Pro models might get the upgraded A16 processors and cameras. iPhones might also release an always-on screen display that would be showing notifications.

Here it is worth noting that not all reports about the upcoming iPhones turn out to be true. For instance, last year, the new iPhone was rumored to feature satellite connectivity, which it did not.

Meanwhile, markets would also watch out for the pricing. While rising inflation has raised manufacturing costs, the company would also be mindful of the slowing economy.

Warren Buffett is Buying More Apple Shares

Apple reported better than expected earnings in the June quarter and its revenues reached a record high for the June quarter. Wall Street analysts were also impressed with the company’s earnings. While Goldman Sachs reiterated the stock as neutral, Morgan Stanley reiterated the stock as overweight and advised investors to buy Apple stock. Warren Buffett also bought Apple shares in both the first and the second quarters of 2022.

Coming back to the Apple event, the company might also release the eighth version of its Apple watch. However, new versions for Mac and iPads are not expected at the event even though the company might release them later in the year.

Apple is also reportedly working on a HomePod. However, the product might not come until the next year. Apple is also rumored to launch its AR-VR set. For the last few months, analysts have been speculating the possibility of Apple launching an AR/VR headset but so far, the company hasn’t made any concrete announcement. The entry into AR/NR headsets would help the company increase its addressable market.

However, Apple’s applications for trademarks suggest that it is working on the AR/VR sets as a lot of trademark applications use the word “reality.”

Regulatory Concerns Mount for Apple

Meanwhile, regulatory concerns have also been increasing for Apple as well as other Big Tech companies over antitrust issues. Politico reported that “Justice Department lawyers are in the early stages of drafting a potential antitrust complaint against Apple.” The company is also facing regulatory scrutiny in the UK over its App store policies.

Last year, Apple changed the privacy rules on iPhones. Meta Platforms estimates that the new rules would cost it around $10 billion in revenues this year. The company reported a YoY fall in its Q2 2022 revenues, the first yearly decline since it went public.

Wall Street Analysts on FAANG stocks

Some of the Wall Street analysts are however bullish on Meta Platforms stock and recommend buying the stock. Earlier this week, JMP reiterated the stock as overweight and called it a “compelling” opportunity. Bank of America also added the stock to its top US picks while removing Alphabet. However, the brokerage continues to have a buy rating on Alphabet stock also.

That said, the rising fears of a US recession are a risk for US stock markets. Bank of America has also warned that more downside lies ahead for the S&P 500. For now, Apple is the best-performing FAANG stock of the year while Netflix is the worst performer with over 60% losses in the year.

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