2016 may not have been a great year for Apple, but things are already starting to look better for the Cupertino-based company. Its shares have been up and have closed at a record high. If all things work to the company's benefit, the iPhone 8 might be a large success.
According to The Street, Apple shares are up over 25 percent from October last year and 46 percent from May low of US$91.50. With these numbers as they currently stand, it would be understandable for investors to look towards making an easy profit. But these low-risk profits might pale in comparison to the gains that the tech giant could soon experience.
The Apple shares are now at an all-time high from the past 52 weeks, largely because of the strong sales of the iPhone 7 Plus. Some will argue that Mac sales have also contributed, but it will to a lesser degree. Since then, shares have added to their gains, topping off after Godman analyst Simona Jankowski upped her price target by US$17 to US$150, as she cited optimism for the upcoming anniversary iPhone, currently dubbed the iPhone 8.
Bloomberg has reported that the new share values have increased Apple's overall value to about US$699 billion, which makes it the world's most highly capitalized company. These gains are expected to further expand within the next 12 months. Meanwhile, Google's parent Alphabet, Inc. is a far off second at US$573 billion.
The publication went on to report that despite the relatively negative public feedback of the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus, the devices still sold well. More importantly, however, the units attracted new buyers to Apple products. These things are both working into the favor of the tech giant and the upcoming iPhone 8 is expected to do even better.
"It's probably just a continuation of the rally following the last quarter report and guidance for the second quarter that's giving investors a bridge to the next iPhone that many are getting excited about," the publication quoted BTIG analyst Walter Piecyk. Moreover, Apple has been able to properly sell its software services because of the increase in its hardware users. Services reportedly grew 18 percent to US$7.2 billion based on the last reporting period.
There is a lot of pressure riding on the yet-to-be-announced iPhone 8, which will mark the company's 10th year in the smartphone market. Rumors include an edge to edge design and the overdue offering of an OLED model. In addition, the handheld is also expected to feature wireless charging and a bigger battery, the latter of which has been a constant issue with iPhone users.
Whether or not Apple will live up to all the hype surrounding its 10th anniversary iPhone is yet to be seen. Until the company officially announces its planned features, whether in the form of an additional display offering or the removal of the controversial Lightning port audio jack, the public is and the hype is riding on sheer hearsay. The Cupertino-based company is expected to make its official announcement sometime in September this year.