UPDATED with closing prices. In the wake of Apple’s much-ballyhooed, two-hour live unveiling of its new video, credit-card, gaming and news publishing offerings, shares in the iPhone maker declined nearly 2% to close at $187.61.
Apple shares lost about 1% during the course of the two-hour presentation, which had solid specs about some of the offerings, but little more than A-list glitter and sizzle reels on the TV front. No pricing or release date for the new Apple TV+ service was revealed during the event.
Shares in Roku, meanwhile, increased 5% to $67.09 after the news that Roku is among the new distribution partners for Apple’s revamped TV app. Amazon and smart-TV makers like Samsung are also going to be getting the Apple app as it becomes more widely available in Apple’s major video push.
Declining stocks outnumber the ones gaining ground today, at least in the media and tech sectors. Netflix, whose streaming service will not be part of the new Apple TV setup, saw its shares rise a bit more than 1% to finish at $364.91. Amazon stock gained a fraction to nearly $1,773.75. Apple said the company’s Fire TV connected devices will have the Apple TV app. The Washington Post, which is owned by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, has opted out of Apple News+.
Apple’s stock price has not returned to its record levels of last summer, when the company became the first to reach a $1 trillion market capitalization. But it has run up 20% so far in 2019 as investors recognize its shift away from device manufacturing and toward its Services category. Sales of the iPhone declined for the first time during the fourth quarter of 2018, a remarkable sign of stagnating demand given the holiday-season timing.
The key element in the Services unit is the fees Apple can charge to act as the gatekeeper. In the case of Apple Music and other areas, it is a 30% fee, which some companies have labeled the “Apple tax.” Spotify has recently filed a formal complaint with the European Commission, alleging the Apple tax confers an unfair advantage on the tech giant.
Wall Street, like those in the audience at the Steve Jobs Theatre and watching via livestream, still has a lot of questions about how Apple plans to implement the strategy that has worked well in payments and music in the TV business.
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