As Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) gears up for its event next Tuesday, Gene Munster – delivering a tech perspective from his research-driven, venture capital firm Loup Ventures – is not looking for too “many surprises.” Rather the analyst, anticipates the tech titan will be turning over a new leaf in the world of augmented reality (AR), expecting AR to knock out the smartphone sometime in the upcoming ten years.
“Give credit to Apple for overcoming the innovator’s dilemma and pointing their product roadmap toward the future,” notes the research analyst. When taking under account the rest of the year, though Munster continues to sing Apple’s praises down the line, he is bracing for “tempered” investor confidence in the short-term. “iPhone cycles are made or broken in the March & June quarters,” argues Munster, who anticipates optimistic views to quiver on iPhone growth specifically in these quarters for fiscal 2018 attributed to apprehension on the iPhone cycle’s “tail.”
However, these looming concerns are simply “distractions” at the end of the day, and the analyst advises not to lose sight of the bigger “long-term Apple story,” explaining that even with pull-backs in the short-term on certainty, he is still in the titan’s corner for the long-term “story.”
Looking ahead, “Over the next year, we expect to see two camps emerge on the Apple story: The first camp will remain positive on Apple despite little to no iPhone growth over the next few years if Services meets Cook’s goal of y/y growth in the high teens. The second camp will be more pragmatic, wanting to see Apple make a push into AR & auto to set the stage for higher growth over the next decade,” notes Munster.
Under which camp does the tech expert analyst fall? One which champions a hopeful shift for Apple on back of augmented reality, predicting, “We remain optimistic that Apple will be a significant player in the shift to AR-driven computing with potential growth from Apple’s car project representing option value.”
In addition to upgrades for the iPhone 7 as well as iPhone 7 models, Munster is enthusiastic about the prospect of an iPhone pro model to hit- one that will be a masterful serve of the very innovative finesse that has built Apple its empire. As the analyst sizes up the iPhone Pro, this will pave the titan’s “biggest step forward in iPhone technology that we’ve seen since the original device launched ten years ago.”
Overall, while Munster acknowledges Apple’s fresh hardware is likely to captivate the greatest buzz from the event, he values the forthcoming new role of 3D sensing capabilities that will facilitate augmented reality applications for the titan- a move that gleams with “long-term implications.”
Wall Street’s voice echoes Munster’s bullish conviction, as TipRanks analytics indicate AAPL as a Buy. Based on 34 analysts polled by TipRanks in the last 3 months, 25 rate a Buy on Apple stock while 9 maintain a Hold. The 12-month average price target stands at $170.55, marking a nearly 4% upside from where the shares last closed.