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Apple is protected against pandemics and is starting the line-up for a critical holiday season

(Reuters) – Apple Inc. AAPL.O Stocks have risen this year despite a pandemic crippling economies around the world, in large part due to booming product sales that exceeded Wall Street expectations.

FILE PHOTO: A customer checks Apple watches at the grand opening of the new Apple Carnegie Library store in Washington, USA, on May 11, 2019. REUTERS / Joshua Roberts / File Photo

Apple is expected to release updates for several key products, including the Apple Watch and iPad, on Tuesday that will help determine whether this phase continues. The devices will be shown in an event that will air from its headquarters in Cupertino, California starting at 1

:00 p.m. CET (1700 GMT) at www.apple.com/apple-events.

When markets closed on Monday, Apple shares rose nearly 54% for the year, well ahead of the 22% gain for the Nasdaq. Although Apple stock fell from a record high earlier this month, it remains close to its $ 2 trillion valuation in the stock markets.

How the new products sell in many Western markets during the holiday season will largely determine how well Apple does for the full fiscal year that began this month.

This year should be different. For one, Apple has announced that its iPhones – still the company’s biggest seller – will be delayed by a few weeks, which affects the number of days shoppers need to buy before the holidays and could result in lower sales. Analysts expect Apple to showcase a 5G iPhone and other updates at an event in October. The products will go on sale later this month.

Part of Apple’s job on Tuesday will be making sure that products like the Apple Watch help customers stay in the Apple ecosystem longer – even if they don’t buy a flagship iPhone as a Christmas gift.

“If sales are softer than usual during the holiday quarter, it doesn’t mean they’re going to be lost just because they’re delayed,” said Ben Bajarin, chief consumer intelligence analyst for Creative Strategies.

So far, Apple has set a solid record with virtual product launches in a retail environment littered with closures. After releasing the budget iPhone SE in April, the company reported a profit in late July that increased in every product category, including a boost from the cheaper phones that proved popular in uncertain economic times.

Bob O’Donnell, head of TECHnalysis Research, expects Apple to focus on budget watches as well as higher-priced flagship models with health sensors.

“It will be about the value that wearables and health-oriented wearables have. The reality is that people are more interested in a pandemic, ”said O’Donnell. “In a way, they were lucky.”

Reporting by Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

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