What the New iPhone Could Mean For 5G

Thursday, October 15, 2020

We all know that there are “Apple people” and “non-Apple people.” Last year, approximately 45% of smartphones in use were Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL, Rated “B”). I happen to be a Samsung gal through and through, but I still want to know what’s going on in the world of iPhones.

Why?

Because Apple really does sit at the middle of the wireless communications industry. A release of a new iPhone not only means sales of the actual phones for Apple and for the network providers, but it means changes for accessory providers and app developers.

On Tuesday, Apple announced that you can get the new iPhone in new colors, with a magnetic back and in different sizes. Again, great news for you Apple lovers.

For me, the important part is that this is a 5G compatible phone. I’ve been following the development of 5G extremely closely because of its implications in a lot of different emerging technologies.

A new phone on a faster network practically sells itself … but, are the U.S. networks ready?

It’s no coincidence the Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ, Rated “A-”) made an announcement Tuesday as well — “5G Just Got Real: The Power of Verizon 5G meets the first iPhone with 5G.” I saw that coming from a mile away. That was followed up by yesterday’s release of “Verizon 5G Ultra-Wideband Service Available in More Cities.”

If you’ve been keeping track, Verizon has been behind other carriers in the 5G race. Well recently I wouldn’t even call it a race … more like a crawl. But apparently the iPhone announcement was the kick in the pants needed to get these networks rolled out.

Verizon is now available in 19 new cities and claims to have the fastest 5G in the world, but we know that on the commercials, all the networks will make those claims. On Tuesday, AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T, Rated “C-”) made the same claim of the fastest 5G network.

I’m not even going to try and decide who has the best network at this point, but I am glad to see some sort of forward momentum.

So today, I decided to take a look at the ratings for the “big three” U.S. carriers to see where they stand as investments.

Let’s check in with Verizon first. Back in June, Verizon was sitting at a “C+” hold rating. Since then, it’s been steadily climbing the ranks and was just upgraded to an “A-” at the beginning of the week.

That makes Verizon one of five “A”-rated stocks … and is a clear “Buy” signal. Let’s take a look at the stock price.

It’s clearly been a rocky ride the past two years. But, according to our ratings, that volatility has settled and investors should see returns as 5G continues to expand.

Next, let’s take a look at AT&T. AT&T has had a “B” rating in the past but has spent most of the year moving around in the “C” range and is currently rated “C-.” This rating identifies that the stock is fair or average.

And the stock price is clearly saying the same thing.

Investors just haven’t seen returns in 2020. You can see that they attempted to recover after the collapse in March but really couldn’t hold any gains. The chart looks flat and the Weiss rating of “C” tells us that pattern probably won’t change anytime soon.

Last but not least we have T-Mobile US, Inc. (Nasdaq: TMUS, Rated “B-”) . The company was downgraded to a “B-” in August due to a substantial decline in our growth index, valuation index and solvency index. EPS and operating cash flow both decreased, while debt to equity increased.

To sum it up, our ratings system sees some concerns with the numbers. But investors don’t seem to notice…

Shares have been on a run-up since the bottom in March. If you want to get into T-Mobile, you should do so now.

It looks like if you want to get into 5G, there’s still some opportunity left in these big names. And as always, I recommend checking the weissratings.com before you add anything into your portfolio. You’ll also be able to see the ratings history with reasons why it was upgraded or downgraded.

Best,

Kelly Green

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