Gene Munster: Apple likely to be spared from China tariffs

“It is widely expected that the upcoming $325B in tariffs on goods imported from China will impact Apple products. We have a different view,” Gene Munster and Will Thompson write for Loup Ventures. “We believe that little is known about the specifics and that ultimately Apple products will be spared from any tariff increases.”

“The reason we believe Apple will be spared is based on our belief that Trump sees Apple as a symbol of American strength and, separately, he has a favorable relationship with Tim Cook that he is interested in maintaining,” Munster and Thompson write. “”

“If we’re wrong and Apple products are included in the tariffs, we think Apple would bear the increased cost in the near-term (six months),” Munster and Thompson write. “Beyond six months, we expect Apple would share the increased cost with the consumer. However, we stress that this illustrates the worst case scenario, and we believe Apple will be spared from the additional tariffs.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take:

Everything is negotiable. Whether or not the negotiation is easy is another thing. — Carrie Fisher

My style of deal-making is quite simple and straightforward. I aim very high, and then I just keep pushing and pushing and pushing to get what I’m after. Sometimes I settle for less than I sought, but in most cases I still end up with what I want. — Donald Trump

Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate. ― John Fitzgerald Kennedy

On that note, interns, TTK!


Apple CEO Tim Cook and U.S. President Donald Trump at tech summit in June
Apple CEO Tim Cook and U.S. President Donald Trump at tech summit in June 2017
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Apple not yet hurt by China tariffs, likely to simply absorb the added cost – May 10, 2019
Apple temporarily escapes new tariffs as U.S.-China trade war escalates – May 10, 2019
Dow futures fall after President Trump tweets ‘absolutely no need to rush’ on China trade deal – May 10, 2019
China overplayed its hand with U.S. President Trump on trade, and it could cost them dearly – May 9, 2019
Apple CEO Tim Cook optimistic about U.S.-China trade talks – February 12, 2019
President Trump says U.S. doing well in trade negotiations with China – January 23, 2019
China’s 2018 growth slows to 28-year low, more stimulus seen – January 22, 2019
Apple CEO Tim Cook: I’m very optimistic about U.S.-China trade talks – January 8, 2019
Advisor to President Trump: Apple’s sales should pick up when U.S.-China strike trade deal – January 3, 2019


  1. Not that analysts have great records to cite, but who would bother listening to the speculations of a guy who spent years peddling the claim that Apple was working on a television?

    Apple will have no choice but to heed what the US government demands and respond to the pricing adjustments the competition makes — not what Gene imagines Cookie would do if he was a nice guy.

    1. Apple works on lots of products that never see market release or get anywhere near an analyst’s ears. A select few products are leaked to analysts to gauge the market, the unreleased Apple television being one of them. It is an extremely rare product that ultimately is actually released by Apple.

  2. I despise the loss of IP and would choose trading equity, but tariffs are problematic. In the end, some in the tariff imposing country get hit quite hard and others remain relatively unscathed. That selective pain is BS.
    As a stock holder wishing that Apple doesn’t get hit, that AAPL would get preferential treatment is another form of tariff BS.
    So, it’s better for farmers (for i.e.) to bear a disproportionate weight of the tariffs? Then, on the back side, those hurt may get “relief,” costing the country more?

  3. Seeing how mainly Apple’s share price took a beating today, I would say Gene Munster is the only one thinking Apple is going to be spared. I tend not to believe what Gene Munster says lately. He just seems so wildly off-base with his comments about Apple. Most of the articles I’ve seen about Apple and China are very negative and claimed to be quite harmful to Apple. Worst case scenario sort of articles. I’m sure that’s what most big investors believe or Apple wouldn’t have fallen as far as it did in the past week.

  4. Logistics and manufacturing genius cough Sapphire Plant Timmy has had plenty of advance notice, and has done nothing. Let the ‘chips’ fall where they may.

  5. Will phones like Samsung also get tariffs? people don’t realize many Samsung ( Korean company) phones are also built in China. Apple’s Foxconn is actually a Taiwanese company with factories in China.

  6. Looking around my house, I have enough cheap Chinese plastic junk to last for a while. But this would have a better chance of working if Mr. T would have spent less time insulting our allies and brought them along for leverage. Tim must be a ruthless dictator for Mr.T to show such respect.

  7. Morgan Stanley disagrees with Apple cheerleader Munster:

    Gene does get airplay in the article, however.
    Interesting factoid from the article: Samsung has assembly facilities in Vietnam, China, India, Brazil, Indonesia, and South Korea. Apple outsources all of its iOS products and almost all its Mac manufacturing (except Trashcan) to China. Gene thinks Apple is attempting to set up manufacturing in Brazil or India.

    End result of tariffs?

    “The loser in the end is the US and Chinese consumer,” said Munster.

    1. I would not want to be a person on a pension or other fixed income for the next 10 to 20 years. That nest egg that you put away is going to get a little smaller a little faster. But take solace in that your pain will be our gain!

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