Apple tried to wow the world on Monday with a host of new products and services. But investors aren't likely to get all abuzz, says J.P. Morgan's Mark Moskowitz.
At its WWDC keynote on Monday, Apple served up peeks at iOS 7, iTunes Radio, a new version of Mac OS X, new MacBook Airs, and the next Mac Pro. Many of these updates will certainly appeal to Apple users. But that doesn't necessarily translate into a higher stock price or stronger sales growth.
"We do not expect investors to cheer the latest software and services rollouts at Apple's WWDC 2013," Moskowitz said in an investors note released late Monday. "The tech improvements appear to be suitably impressive, but we do not expect them to move the needle in the model in the near to mid term. The new specs reinforce, however, Apple's enhanced user experience, in our view, but the bigger story remains whether or not Apple can jumpstart its revenue growth profile."
Moskowitz sees the "pivot point" for sales growth coming in the second half of the year when Apple is expected to launch an iPhone 5S, a lower-cost iPhone, and a Retina Display iPad Mini. Still, the analyst sees promise for some of the new products and services.
Offering a cleaner look, iOS 7 points to more integrated features and services. The new OS boasts enhanced multitasking, a better browser, and the AirPlay "tap to share" option. The new Control Center and automatic app updating are also seen as pluses by Moskowitz. Finally, the new activation lock should appeal to lawmakers concerned about the theft of Apple devices.
Though Apple didn't reveal many details about iTunes Radio, the analyst believes it could increase services revenues and fuel greater demand for the $24.99-per-year iTunes Match.
Such new and updated features as iCloud, Siri, Safari, the Photos app, and the Control Center impressed Canaccord Genuity analyst Michael Walkley. The analyst also noted the refreshed MacBook Air with better battery life and support for 802.11ac Wi-Fi as well as a new Mac Pro with higher-end specs.
Walkley wasn't surprised by the unveilings but does see an upturn for Apple in the second half of the year.
"While we were impressed with the features introduced in iOS 7 and with the refreshed MacBook Air and Mac Pro products, these announcements were consistent with our expectations," the analyst said in an investor note out Tuesday. "While our surveys indicate Apple's iPhone has lost near-term market share that will likely continue through the summer or until the iPhone 5S launch late in the September quarter, we maintain our belief Apple has a strong product pipeline that should result in reaccelerating [year-over-year] earnings growth during [the second half of] 2013."