Apple's New iPhones
Andy Swan-Contributor-iMarkets
I cover the stock market, investing, and technology. Attendees view Apple watch series 4 devices displayed during an Apple Inc. event at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, California, U.S., on Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018. Apple Inc. took the wraps off a renewed iPhone strategy on Wednesday, debuting a trio of phones that aim to spread the company’s latest technology to a broader audience. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Apple is buzzing. In August they became the first U.S. company to hit $1 trillion market value. On September 12, all eyes turned to Steve Jobs Theater to see what the creative behemoth would bestow upon consumers waiting to be dazzled.

To measure consumer reaction to product announcements, we at LikeFolio analyze chatter on Twitter for indications that consumers are talking about purchasing the new products, as well as the sentiment with which they describe them.  Historically, the consumer reaction to the annual Keynote event has been an incredible predictor of $AAPL stock, having predicted the movement of AAPL stock over the following 9 months for five straight years.Here’s what we found this year.

Consumer reaction to the 2018 Apple Keynote was lackluster

Two hours and four products later, the end result was a lower level of purchase intent mentions for Apple products/services than we had seen in either of the two prior years.

Apple keynote Events Purchase Intent
Consumer response to Apple’s new product lineup was the lowest we have seen in years.LIKEFOLIO

The green line on the chart above is a measure of consumer purchase intent of Apple products/services. Purchase intent for the 2018 Apple Keynote event was the lowest measured since 2015.

What does this mean? Frankly, it’s not a good sign for Apple. The last time purchase intent was this low for a Keynote event,  Apple sales fell year-over-year for the first time in 13 years.

 

The green line on the chart above is a measure of consumer purchase intent of Apple products/services. Purchase intent for the 2018 Apple Keynote event was the lowest measured since 2015.

What does this mean? Frankly, it’s not a good sign for Apple. The last time purchase intent was this low for a Keynote event,  Apple sales fell year-over-year for the first time in 13 years.

apple-keynote-product-release-purchase-intent

Apple Watch Series 4 – a major threat to struggling Fitbit

The Apple Watch Series 4 was the clear fan favorite. The new watch boasts FDA cleared heart monitoring features, including the ability to take an EKG and detect an irregular heartbeat. The watch can also detect falls and alert authorities if you need help. It’s like the data-connected lovechild of… Fitbit and Life Alert?

See all charts and Learn More

The online game “Fortnite” has become a smash hit.

Days after “Fortnite” said it would launch an Android app but circumvent Alphabet Inc.’s app store, Google found a major security flaw in the Android version of the game and publicly exposed both the flaw and a request to keep it quiet.

The flaw has since been repaired by Tencent Holdings Inc. TCEHY, +2.16%  -backed Epic Games Inc., which asked Alphabet GOOGL, +1.28% GOOG, +1.27% not to disclose the information for 90 days. Google engineers refused and published the details of the exploit Friday — a week later — as well as the exchange with Epic’s developers.

When app makers circumvent the Alphabet-owned Google Play Store — or Apple Inc.’s AAPL, +0.31%  similar app store — they avoid paying a 30% fee on sales made through their apps, but they do not receive some services included in the fee. “Fortnite” is the most high-profile instance of a developer publicly avoiding the Play Store while launching an Android app, but Friday’s security disclosure is now the most high-profile demonstration of the risks associated with that strategy.

AndroidCentral first reported the news late Friday.

Epic Chief Executive Tim Sweeney has praised open platforms like Android and even said he doesn’t take issue with digital stores for console games. But Google’s control over Android is another story, he has said, because he believes Google isn’t making the same amount of effort to market titles to consumers: So if Epic can avoid it, why not do so?

Don’t miss: How ‘Fortnite’ cracked the code to become the most successful free videogame ever

Instead of offering the app in Google’s Play Store, Epic offered it only as a direct download from the internet. After it was publicly posted on Aug. 9, Google researchers tested it and found the flaw, a serious one that would let any app on an Android phone download and run software without a user knowing.

Epic fixed the bug about a day after learning about it, or six days after “Fornite” officially launched on Android. Users who downloaded the installer for “Fortnite” have likely already received an automatic fix Epic rolled out, but it’s unclear how many people downloaded the flawed Android app or if hackers had made use of the exploit. The Google security team also included a proof-of-concept video demonstrating how people could exploit the bug.

See also: ‘Fortnite’ more important than cryptocurrency to large companies during earnings season

“Fortnite” may need the Android app to re-energize the hugely lucrative free-to-play game. “Fortnite” sales grew at a slower rate in July compared to the prior month, according to research published this week by SuperData, despite the launch of a new season. The free-to-play battle royale game became an outsize success in recent months, and has raked in millions of dollars a month on cosmetic upgrades and subscription sales.

Google and Epic did not immediately respond to a request for additional comment Friday afternoon.

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