Will The New Apple AI Platform Move The Needle On Its Stock?

Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) is always a big event, but this year, the hype was elevated — thanks to Apple’s new AI platform initiatives.

There had been rumors for months regarding the artificial-intelligence developments at Apple and significant upgrades to the next version of the iPhone’s operating system, iOS 18.

WWDC is finally here, launching on Monday and running through Friday, and it kicked off with a bang. It began with an opening video that looked like a scene from Mission: Impossible with Apple executives parachuting out of a plane. It continued with details about all the new initiatives that had been rumored, including AI, iOS18, Vision Pro, the iPad and more.

Apple certainly delivered the goods, as it were, with upgrades across the board, but are investors buying? The initial reaction was a whole lot of “meh,” as Apple’s stock price fell about 2% on Monday.

However, after a day of digesting the news, Apple stock trended higher on Tuesday morning, rising about 3%. Here are the highlights from day one of WWDC.  

Apple AI platform & ChatGPT

The headliner on Monday was the launch of Apple Intelligence, the new AI platform that will be integrated into iOS 18. Via Apple Intelligence, the new version of iOS includes upgrades to Siri; tools to help with writing; new features for mail, text messages, and photos; the ability to record and transcribe audio; and image-creation tools, expanded emojis, and enhanced data privacy, among other features.

The generative-AI features will be powered with the help of ChatGPT through a partnership with OpenAI. ChatGPT will be integrated into the Siri voice assistant and into the new Writing Tools, among other apps.

With its state-of-the-art gen-AI technology, ChatGPT will make Siri more intuitive, interactive and responsive, able to handle a broader range of commands. It will also be free for iPhone users, built into the system so users don’t have to toggle between apps.

Apple Intelligence will be integrated into the new iOS 18, iPadOS 18 and macOS Sequoia systems. Those systems will be out in beta testing this fall and available in a full rollout later this year.

However, you won’t see Apple Intelligence on your old iPhone anytime soon. Those features will only be available on the iPhone 15 Pro, iPhone 15 Pro Max, and iPad and Mac with M1 and later. Apple Intelligence will also be built into future iPhone models, including the iPhone 16, which is rumored to be coming out in September.

Thus, if you have the iPhone 15, iPhone 14 or any model before that, you won’t get the AI upgrade unless you buy a new iPhone 15 Max or Pro or plunk down money for the iPhone 16 when it comes out.

iOS and Vision Pro upgrades

That was not the only news out of day one of WWDC. As mentioned, iOS 18 includes a lot of the aforementioned AI features, among others.

For example, iOS 18 includes a redesigned control center, enhanced Apple Maps, and upgrades to the Safari web browser, photos, text messages, mail, Notes, and Journal, to name a few. There is also a passwords app to make it easier to access all those passwords we all have accumulated.

iOS 18 will be available this fall as a free software update for iPhone Xs and later, but the AI features will only be on the phones mentioned above.

In addition, Apple rolled out an update to its Vison Pro virtual-reality headset, introducing VisionOS2. The new software allows users to create spatial photos with the images in their library, has new intuitive hand gestures to access information, and features some 2,000 spatial apps designed specifically for Apple Vision Pro.

Is Apple stock a buy?

This just scratches the surface of the new features unveiled across Apple products. The initial investor disappointment may have come from the fact that it is just another ploy to sell iPhones — making these new features only available on the new, more expensive models.

On the plus side, it is just another ploy to sell iPhones, and it will probably boost flagging sales, which fell 10% over the past year as of the latest earnings report. June-quarter sales are not expected to be great, as Apple anticipates low single-digit revenue growth, but these upgrades could spur sales in the second half of the year.

Apple stock has a reasonable valuation with a P/E ratio of 30 and a forward P/E of 26, so it might not be a bad time to pick up some shares, particularly if investors “sell on the news.”

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