Investors will get more data about Apple’s performance, and perhaps some clues about its future, on Tuesday, when the company reports its results for the financial quarter that ended in March. Analysts expect the company to report a slight increase in iPhone sales and overall revenue.
Apple declined to comment ahead of its earnings report.
Mr. Landis sold most of Firsthand’s Apple position near last year’s bottom, but he said he had no regrets despite the stock’s recent gains. He expects Apple to continue churning out incremental improvements rather than shake up the industry. The biggest change in last fall’s iPhone 7, he noted, was the elimination of the headphone jack.
Apple is expected to make more exciting updates in its next high-end iPhone, including a high-resolution screen that covers the phone’s entire face. But the company has also suggested that much of its future growth will come from services like Apple Music, Apple Pay and the cut that Apple takes from application sales and subscriptions in the app store.
Apple executives, who are fond of using the word “revolutionary” to describe their products, have also acknowledged some missteps. After watching iPad unit sales spiral downward for 12 quarters in a row, the company introduced a cheaper model in March to win over schools that were flocking to Chromebooks. Apple is also likely to update its Pro models for businesses this year.
Apple also admitted that the striking cylindrical design of the Mac Pro, a personal computer that is important to its most demanding customers, turned out to be a mistake that limited its upgrade potential. A completely redesigned Mac Pro will be released next year, Apple executives said in early April during an unusual meeting with tech journalists to discuss the computer’s shortcomings.
“We made something bold that we thought would be great for the majority of our Mac Pro users. And what we discovered was that it was great for some and not others,” Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president for marketing, said at the meeting. “We’re sorry for that, what happened with the Mac Pro, and we’re going to come out with something great to replace it.”
Investors appear to be relieved that Apple sales have stabilized after last year’s drop, said Neil Cybart, an independent analyst who writes about Apple at the website Above Avalon. “There is at least increased confidence in what Apple can do in the future,” he said.
Kevin Walkush, a portfolio manager at Jensen Investment Management who loaded up on Apple shares near last year’s lows, is one of those confident investors. “Apple is turning into the big Caddy that’s going to cruise down the freeway, and there’s a certain class of investors that are really comfortable with that. And we’re that kind of…