September has arrived and this is generally the month when smartphone giant Apple (AAPL -0.34%) refreshes its bread-and-butter product -- the iPhone. Apple is likely to launch the 2021 iteration of its smartphone on Sept. 14 as it has announced an Apple Event will take place that day. Other than a date, location, and time, no other details have been released.
If announced, the rumored iPhone 13 models are expected to sport a host of upgrades over last year's iPhone 12 in terms of connectivity, cameras, storage, battery, and other features. With a huge chunk of Apple's installed base yet to upgrade to a 5G-enabled smartphone, it wouldn't be surprising to see the new iPhone models sell like hotcakes.
This could be great for Apple investors, but at the same time, component suppliers whose products go into the making of the iPhone also stand to gain big from the new devices. Synaptics (SYNA -2.34%) and Skyworks Solutions (SWKS -1.06%) are two such stocks that investors could consider buying to take advantage of the upcoming iPhone next-gen release. Let's see why.
Synaptics was one of the key beneficiaries of the iPhone 12 as the chipmaker reportedly supplied the OLED (organic light-emitting diode) touch controllers to Apple last year. The company had provided a hint after the launch of the iPhone 12 that it was indeed supplying OLED touch controllers to Apple, when it said in a November 2020 conference call, "We also had our major handset OEM announce their new flagship phones last month powered by our OLED touch controller."
Synaptics' mobile business recorded robust growth of 25% year over year (after adjusting for the divestment of its LCD business) during the fiscal first quarter of 2021, which ended in September last year. The chipmaker has again dropped hints that it could be supplying the touchscreen controllers to Apple this year. The company said on its August earnings conference call that it is in "high volume production" of its second-generation OLED touch controllers, and is also on track to roll out the third generation.
Synaptics also added that mobile products "bottomed in the June quarter and are anticipated returning to growth beginning with the September quarter." All of this indicates that Synaptics may have scored the OLED touch controller spot in this year's iPhone models. As a result, don't be surprised to see the company's mobile business switch into a higher gear beginning this quarter.
Synaptics expects the mobile business to account for 25% of its total revenue this quarter. As Apple has reportedly increased the initial production run of the 2021 iPhone models by 20% over the iPhone 12 to 90 million units, Synaptics' mobile business could enjoy a nice shot in the arm in the closing stages of 2021 and beyond as the iPhone upgrade cycle continues. This would also complement Synaptics' Internet of Things business, which has been growing at a terrific pace.
In all, Synaptics is a top tech stock to buy right now given that it is trading at just 18.5 times forward earnings, a discount to the S&P 500's multiple of 22.2.
2. Skyworks Solutions
Skyworks Solutions is an integral part of the Apple supply chain. It provided as many as eight radio frequency modules for the iPhone 12 in 2020 and reportedly gained content thanks to the increased networking complexity in 5G smartphones.
The relationship with Apple has been a boon for Skyworks in the past year, with its revenue in the nine months of the current fiscal year increasing 58% year over year to $3.8 billion. The company is on track to finish the year with $5.1 billion in revenue, which would be a jump of 52% over the company's fiscal 2020 revenue of $3.35 billion.
It is worth noting that Apple accounted for 56% of Skyworks' revenue in fiscal 2020, so the success of the iPhone 12 has moved the needle in a big way for the company so far. The 2021 iPhone models can give Skyworks an additional shot in the arm as Apple is rumored to pack advanced connectivity options such as Wi-Fi 6E and satellite connectivity for emergency situations.
Skyworks already supplies Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E chips for a broad range of applications, and the company pointed out in July that it is ramping up the sales of its high-speed Wi-Fi modules and scoring new design wins in this space. Throw in the addition of rumored wireless options such as satellite functionality and mmWave connectivity to provide an enhanced 5G experience, and it won't be surprising to see Skyworks gain more content in this year's iPhone models.
That's because an enhancement in connectivity will create the need for more radio frequency filters so that the smartphone can connect to the network seamlessly while blocking unwanted signals. A third-party estimate points out that high-end 5G smartphones carry at least 50 to 80 radio frequency filters as compared to 30 to 50 filters in mid-range 4G devices.
Also, the advent of 5G smartphones is expected to drive the radio frequency front-end module market's revenue to $25 billion by 2025 as compared to $15 billion in 2019. Skyworks is in a strong position to tap into this opportunity thanks to its relationship with Apple, as the latter is dominating the 5G smartphone space and is unlikely to take its foot off the gas.
What's more, now is a good time to buy Skyworks stock as the chipmaker's price-to-earnings ratio of 21.4 seems quite attractive for a company that has clocked impressive growth in recent quarters. More importantly, Skyworks looks capable of sustaining its high growth thanks to its relationship with Apple as well as other smartphone manufacturers, so investors looking to buy a 5G stock trading at a reasonable valuation shouldn't miss out on this chipmaker as it seems set for a breakout.