From a note to clients by Amit Daryanani that landed on my desktop Wednesday afternoon:
All You Need to Know: This morning, Apple announced the latest iPad Pro and Macbook Air, but what wasn’t announced may be more notable (iPhone SE2). Apple was widely expected to announce the iPhone SE2 at its typical March product unveiling. The SE2 has likely fallen victim to COVID, but we still think it will help iPhone revenue return to growth once the world returns to normal. Our discussions with AAPL in the past have always indicated a commitment to only launch products when they have adequate inventory that coupled with global macro concerns likely resulted in a deferral of the iPhone SE launch.
The iPad Pro is still notable, primarily for its innovative LiDAR sensor that provides depth sensing technology that is essential for the future of AR. The sensor will also likely be in the next iPhone, but we do not think either the iPhone or the iPad is the most natural platform for AR. The sensor will no doubt enable some incremental new features, but we view the integration as more of a beta test before the technology is added to a more natural AR platform (Apple Glasses???).
Net/net: The lack of an SE announcement and the iPad LiDAR sensor were the most notable announcements. Apple is a clear AR leader and we see a future AR platform as a lever for revenue upside that is not included in current models.
Maintains Outperform rating and $325 price target.
My take: I only had eyes for the new MacBook Air (see here). Personally, iPads don’t do much for me. The “iPhone SE2” to which Daryanani refers is an unannounced product. For all I know it could be a figment of Forbes’ imagination.