Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) stock price has been on a downward trend since the launch of its latest flagship smartphone, the iPhone 15, on September 24. The shares closed at $172.10 on Monday, September 27, down 11.3% from their all-time high of $194.20 on September 7. What are the reasons behind this decline and what should investors expect in the coming weeks?
iPhone 15 Sales and Reviews
One of the main factors that could be affecting Apple’s stock price is the initial sales and reviews of the iPhone 15. According to analysts, the demand for the new iPhone models has been lower than expected, partly due to the global chip shortage, the high price tag, and the lack of major innovations. Some users have also reported issues with the iPhone 15 Pro models, such as overheating, battery drain, and camera glitches.
However, not all reviews have been negative. Many critics have praised the iPhone 15 for its improved performance, battery life, display, and design. Some features, such as the 120Hz refresh rate, the cinematic mode, and the 5x optical zoom, have also been well received. Moreover, Apple has said that it is working on fixing the reported problems with software updates.
Competition and Regulatory Challenges
Another factor that could be weighing on Apple’s stock price is the increasing competition and regulatory challenges that the company faces in the global smartphone market. Apple’s main rival, Samsung, has recently launched its own flagship devices, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and the Galaxy Z Flip 3, which offer foldable screens and lower prices than the iPhone 15. Other competitors, such as Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo, have also been gaining market share, especially in emerging markets like China and India.
Additionally, Apple has been facing scrutiny from regulators and lawmakers in various countries over its business practices, such as its App Store policies, its privacy features, and its tax arrangements. The company has been involved in several legal battles, such as the antitrust lawsuit filed by Epic Games, the maker of Fortnite, and the patent infringement case brought by Qualcomm, the chipmaker. These disputes could pose risks to Apple’s reputation, revenue, and profitability.
Future Outlook and Valuation
Despite the recent drop in Apple’s stock price, some analysts remain optimistic about the company’s long-term prospects and growth potential. They argue that Apple has a loyal customer base, a strong brand, a diversified product portfolio, and a robust ecosystem of services and accessories. They also expect that Apple will benefit from the 5G network rollout, the holiday season demand, and the upcoming product launches, such as the AirPods 3, the Apple Watch Series 7, and the MacBook Pro 16.
According to Yahoo Finance, the consensus among 48 analysts covering Apple is that the stock has a 12-month average target price of $181.32, which implies a 5.4% upside from the current level. The analysts’ ratings range from a low of $132 to a high of $225, with 38 buy recommendations, eight hold recommendations, and two sell recommendations.