Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is up almost 1.5% amid the news that the US company is rapidly hiring executives from the luxury branding industry. The latest name is Patrick Pruniaux, the vice president of sales of the Swiss luxury watchmaker Tag Heuer. Apple has previously hired executives from the brands such as Burberry, Yves Saint Laurent, and Levi’s. CNBC‘s Josh Lipton and the FMHR crew discussed this news as well as the opportunities for Apple behind the launch of the smartwatch.
The news has been interpreted by the analysts as a sign that company’s first ever smartwatch, the iWatch, can be anticipated later this year and sooner than previously thought. An analyst from the CNBC noted: “what this tells me, the latest hires, is that they probably have all the technology set for the iWatch and need the case and the design of it.”
The decision to bring in outside talent has been pointed out as being a remarkable “unwilling divorce from Steve Jobs” and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s ability to design its products. More questions have been raised about the timing of the iWatch. Analysts noted that the iWatch should not be launched at the same time as the new iPhone. The analysts see the new iPhone’s earning potential as stable, but are unsure about the demand the new iWatch will create.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is trading at the highest level since October 2012. Despite this, an analyst from the CNBC remarked that portfolio managers are still underweight relative to what they should be in Apple, which should see both the new iPhone 6 and the iWatch introduced later this year. However, other analyst argued that investors should not be long on Apple only because of the iWatch, because “smart-watches are not a huge product, and not the next iPad”. The analyst did not argue against being long in Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s stock in general however, noting that being long in Apple because of the iPhone and its continued improvement in the software may be a good decision.