Apple (AAPL) began accepting orders for its most advanced, and most expensive iPhone to date, the iPhone X, on Friday. Earlier this month, the tech giant began accepting orders for its iPhone 8, which has been met with a less than enthusiastic response.
It will be fascinating to gauge the reception for the iPhone X; if the response is strong, we'll know that consumers passed on the iPhone 8 because they were waiting for the X. If not, then Apple could have a problem on its hands.
Whatever the outcome, it'll have no bearing on next week's earnings report. Apple is scheduled to report fiscal fourth quarter earnings on Nov. 2 after the market close. That quarter closed at the end of September. The unfolding drama surrounding Apple's new phones will be reflected in the current quarter, which ends in January.
Taking this into account, Apple's upcoming earnings report now seems a bit anticlimactic. The one exception would be if the company was to offer some early indication of orders for the iPhone X.
Apple's technical picture depends on your timeframe. Since the prevailing philosophy is that Apple is a stock that should be owned and not traded -- and because that philosophy has been very rewarding -- I normally tend to focus on Apple's longer-term charts, such as the weekly. My analysis of Apple's weekly chart is covered here.
Meanwhile, Apple's daily chart shows a stock at rest. Note the gap lower on Oct. 19 (point A), which occurred on moderately high volume (arrow). This gap occurred when Apple -- which is a holding in the Action Alerts PLUS charity portfolio that Jim Cramer co-manages -- announced soft demand for the iPhone 8, but notice that the drop isn't dramatic.
Since then, the stock has drifted sideways on very low volume (shaded yellow). Apple is marking time, as traders await next week's earnings report to jolt it from its slumber.
In Apple's favor, a recent survey from 451 Research indicates that 69% of iPhone buyers in North America intend to purchase some type of iPhone within the next three months; 43% of those surveyed specifically stated that they intend to purchase the iPhone X. UBS cited this survey when it recently reiterated its $180 target price on the stock.
If that survey of 3840 consumers is accurate, Apple is about to have a hit on its hands with the iPhone X. That news would overshadow the impact of next week's earnings report, regardless of its outcome.