By Adam J. Crawford, Analyst
The investment community has been up in arms over a lack of innovation from Apple. After all, the company hasn’t launched a new product line in quite some time… that is, until now. Meet the company’s brand-new smart device: Apple Watch. Investors hope the product will send Apple’s stock to new heights. Is that wishful thinking?
Apple brings its new product into a hotly contested space, with the likes of Sony, Nike, and Samsung all offering a competing smartwatch. But there’s a common theme with reviews for these gadgets: not enough features, not enough style. Apple aims to fill this void… and will charge a premium for doing so, of course.
Apple Watch will retail for $349, notably higher than most competing watches. Since Apple is notorious for putting the squeeze on retail margins (it reportedly allows retail as little as 3% on tablets), retailers would likely make 10% on the Apple Watch, placing Apple’s revenue per watch at around $315.
In 2013, Apple sold 150 million iPhones. It would be an extremely tall order to sell that many watches, especially at $350 a pop. So for a base-case scenario, let’s say that 30% of iPhone buyers will purchase an Apple Watch. For a bullish scenario, 50%. And for a bearish scenario, 10%. Using these adoption rates yields the following annual unit sales.
|Percent of iPhone Sales||10%||30%||50%|
|Apple Watch Annual
Units Opportunity (Millions)
At a projected price of $315, we get the following projected revenues.
|Apple Watch Sales
as a percent of iPhone Sales
|Price per Watch||$315||$315||$315|
Over the past four years, Apple’s profit margin has ranged from 19.2% to 26.7%. Let’s assume a 23% profit margin on the Apple Watch. With shares outstanding of 6 billion and at Apple’s current multiple of 15, here’s our calculation of the impact on share price for each volume scenario.
Smartwatches will be a nice addition to Apple’s product line in that they will further institutionalize an already iconic brand. However, in looking at just the annual hardware sales, our projections suggest anywhere from a 3% to a 13% impact on share price. At the low end of the projections, the impact is anemic. At the high end, the impact is significant, but hardly seismic. There may be a host of reasons to buy Apple stock, but the Apple Watch by itself isn’t one of them.
The better investment option is to look at companies that supply Apple; this is one of the things we track at BIG TECH. One Apple chip supplier, Avago Technologies, yielded our subscribers over 100% return in just over 12 months, piggybacking on the rise of the iPhone.
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