Apple Shares Advance on New iPad Release

It isn’t the kind of bump Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) shares are accustomed to after new product launches. Nevertheless, Apple’s latest iPad is giving the beaten-down stock a much-needed boost.

Apple shares are up 2% in mid-afternoon trading today on news that the company will soon release a new iPad geared toward businesses. The new iPad is larger than its predecessors, with twice the storage of previous models and a high-resolution Retina display. Users will have to pay a handsome fee for all the upgrades: the $799 starting price is more than double the price of the iPad Mini or iPad 2.

The new tablet will be available in Apple retail stores next month.

Apple’s latest product unveiling was lower key than previous iPad/iPhone announcements. After the last two product launches – the iPhone 5 and the iPad Mini – failed to attract investors the way previous launches had, perhaps Tim Cook and company figured it would be more prudent this time to take people by surprise with a new product.

While the element of surprise isn’t giving Apple shares the 10% boost they used to enjoy after unveiling new products, it’s at least pushing the stock higher – an improvement over what happened when the company released the iPad Mini back in October. And Apple could use any help it can get right now.

In just the past four months, the stock has:

  • Fallen 37% to a year-low of $439 a share at the end of last week
  • Lost more than $200 billion in market cap
  • Been overtaken by Exxon (NYSE: XOM) as the largest publicly traded company in the world
  • Seen its iPhone 5 sales fall short of expectations since its late-September debut

So even a 2% bump – pushing Apple shares back above $450 – is a welcome one. The latest iPad isn’t blowing anyone away. But it’s a bit of good news in what has been an otherwise lousy winter for Apple.

To top