Wall Street shrugs as Apple can no longer keep a secret

Investors were little moved by the two new iPhones, despite the pomp and circumstance of a typical Apple event.

News flash: Apple's Phil Schiller couldn't let the iCat out of the bag. The cat was long gone. Josh Lowensohn/CNET

Apple's splashy iPhone launch did little to excite Wall Street.

Shares barely moved after the unveiling of two new iPhones, and have slipped 1.7 percent, to $497.81, since the event concluded.

The Cupertino, Calif., company's stock has rallied in the last two months, with its market value rising by nearly a third since July 1. It, however, is still down considerably from a year ago, when it peaked at above $700. Shares had drifted fractionally lower in the hours preceding the event.

It's little wonder the stock barely reacted to the event -- virtually every product announcement had been previously spoiled by leaks. Despite Tim Cook's insistence that he would improve the secrecy of Apple's inner workings, leaks continued to come out at a torrid pace, revealing everything from the lower-end iPhone to the fingerprint sensor.

Wall Street has been struggling to find something new to get excited about with Apple. The company today unveiled the iPhone 5S, a new high-end flagship phone, alongside the lower-end iPhone 5C. While the iPhone 5S is the phone that will excite fans and get them lining up at Apple's stores, it's the cheaper iPhone 5C that's more intriguing. Investors have long looked to Apple to create a more affordable device to go after the broader global market, which isn't as obsessed with top-tier devices as U.S. consumers are.

That's particularly true in emerging markets such as China and India, where a vast majority of the population can't afford an iPhone. It's a market that Samsung and Nokia have focused on with a number of more-affordable devices.

Still, the iPhone 5C isn't extremely cheap. The 16GB version costs $99 with a two-year contract, while the 32GB is $199. The basic version costs $549 without a contract.

One question the iPhone 5C raises is how the new device will affect margins, which is a key measure of health that investors look for. Apple's margins over the last few quarters drifted lower because of a higher mix of older iPhones sold, but the iPhone 5C was built to be sold at a lower price.

This is a developing story. Follow our CNET live blog, check out the latest on the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C, and see all of today's Apple news.

 

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