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WWDC Can't Come Quick Enough ... For Apple Stock

If the next major Apple product announcement indeed takes place at WWDC 2013, it will be a huge 230 days since the company's last large scale Apple event. This will be the longest period between Apple product announcements since 2010, and could explain the recent dip in the company's stock price. Before now, the post-2010 record was 132 days between the iPad 2 and MacBook Air announcements, and so by the time WWDC rolls around in June 2013 this record will have increased by at least three months. As Business Insider reports, this wait could be precisely what is unnerving Apple shareholders:
There's a few ways to think about this product gap. From a purely financial standpoint, it's not good. Apple will have nothing new to goose its sales and profits. It gives rivals eight months to introduce new products that can sap at Apple's core business. That's why it forecasted a midpoint revenue guidance of $34.5 billion for the June 2013 quarter, which is a 1% drop on a year-over-year basis. It also guided to EPS of $7 for the quarter, a 25% decline. From a product standpoint, it suggests Apple is working on some big, new stuff. Otherwise, why the delay? If Apple is really going to release just an iPhone 5S, then why not put it out sooner? Either way, this gap is unusual, and it can create some anxiety for shareholders.
The above graph demonstrates the important relationship between Apple stock price and the company's major product announcements, suggesting that Apple's relative silence might indeed be having a detrimental effect on its stock. One thing we know for certain is that Apple will be making product announcements in June, at WWDC 2013, and that this will likely concern the iPhone 5S, which is expected to hit Apple Store shelves in fall. If my colleague's sound reading of the WWDC logo is anything to go by, the forthcoming handset will be available in a number of different colors - an improvement to the smartphone that will certainly be appropriate, considering that this iPhone release will likely constitute a minor "S" upgrade. But could a series of iPhone 5S-, iOS 7-, and OS X-related announcements at WWDC turn Apple stock around? We'll just have to wait and see. For further reading, see: The AppAdvice Week In Review: A Courtship, Multiple iPhones And WWDC 2013, Apple Could Wow WWDC Audience With New Internet Service, "Killer" New App, and We Will Probably See iOS 7 In June, But The Next iPhone Is Another Story.
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