Apple Inc. (AAPL) Is Losing Ground in China, Snap Inc (SNAP) Road to Success Runs Through Innovation

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has a China problem despite a forthcoming iPhone 8 cycle, and Oppenheimer is left cautious on the once invincible tech giant, wondering if the launch come fall is all it takes in a world where the competition keeps out-innovating the other. Conversely, one of Wall Street’s top-ranking analysts sees the opposite for Snap Inc (NYSE:SNAP), pleased to see the social platform taking it to the next level with announcements like “custom stories” and a new “World of Dance” competition coming soon to Snap users. Let’s take a closer look:

Is Apple Still King of the Tech World? Oppenheimer Says Not Anymore

Apple’s losing market share in China, says Oppenheimer analyst Andrew Uerkwitz, who questions whether Apple’s hyped iPhone 8 launch this fall will be enough as the tech giant slowly loses grasp on its connection with users. From Uerkwitz’s eyes, Apple’s heyday is no longer lighting up the tech universe as Apple is slipping in the grand innovation game.

Therefore, the analyst reiterates a Perform rating on shares of AAPL without listing a price target.

Uerwkitz explains, “There was general consensus among our conversations that confirms our thesis that Apple’s dwindling market share in Greater China is due to the lack of compelling differentiation among hardware and software. The mobile user experience in China is heavily dictated by Tencent and other local Internet companies, making Apple’s software and services ineffective as key differentiators. That said, we do believe there is pent-up demand for iPhone 8, which is widely reported to make a few major design changes. We expect a temporary rebound in share. The key question, whether Apple can supply enough iPhone 8 without major bottlenecks in the supply chain, remains unanswered.”

Overall, “We believe the 8 cycle has pent-up demand and may not have enough initial supply to support it. However, it may be time to ask, ‘What’s next?’ Here, we believe the lack of differentiation and innovation is chipping away its market dominance and should be viewed as a sign of weaker control on its relationship with users,” contends Uerkwitz, sidelined on the giant’s fading status as a once titan of market share dominion.

According to TipRanks, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, four-star analyst Andrew Uerkwitz is ranked #637 out of 4,554 analysts. Uerkwitz has a 54% success rate and earns 7.3% in his yearly returns. However, when recommending AAPL, Uerkwitz forfeits 13.6% in average profits on the stock.

TipRanks analytics indicate AAPL as a Strong Buy. Out of 31 analysts polled by TipRanks in the last 3 months, 27 are bullish on Apple stock while 4 remain sidelined. With a return potential of nearly 7%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $163.79.

Luck Be a Snap: Upgrades Keep the Dice Rolling

Yesterday morning, Snap upgraded its Story feature to include “custom stories,” following fresh on the heels of one day prior with a launch of “World of Dance” – a.k.a. “Snapchat’s First Ever Dance Competition.” Top analyst Brian White at Drexel Hamilton continues to be impressed with the popular Snapchat app parent company’s inventive steps to keep its winning social appeal fresh and forward-moving.

White highlights, “Over the past couple of months, Snap made important innovation announcements and added new original content that we believe will drive increased user engagement on the Snapchat platform.” In reaction to the new story feature coupled with the company’s new dance show, positive introductions and announcements that have momentum rolling, the analyst reiterates a Buy rating on SNAP with a price target of $30, which represents a just under 50% increase from where the shares last closed.

Diving in to the new features, the analyst explains, “[…] Snap expanded the capabilities of its storytelling platform with a new feature that allows for the creation of ‘custom Stories’,” which is important as, “With this new feature, a user can decide who is allowed to add and view a Story, while also using a Geofence for a location. Essentially, a group of friends can contribute to and view a Story. This new feature could be ideal for important events, parties, celebration activities, holiday weekends, vacations and more.”

“Snap has previously estimated that 25% of daily active users post a Story each day and we believe today’s announcement will further engagement on the platform,” White concludes, likewise believing Snap’s “World of Dance” freestyle dance off show will only be advantageous for user interaction and engagement.

Brian White has a very good TipRanks score with a 64% success rate and a high ranking of #144 out of 4,554 analysts. White realizes 10.4% in his annual returns. When recommending SNAP, White yields 1.3% in average profits on the stock.

TipRanks analytics show SNAP as a Hold. Based on 38 analysts polled by TipRanks in the last 3 months, 13 rate a Buy on Snap stock, 18 maintain a Hold, while 7 issue a Sell. The 12-month average price target stands at $21.83, marking an 8% upside from where the stock is currently trading.


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