Apple shares tumble as firm blames sales slump on China slowdown

The new iPhone models that aren't being taken up

The new iPhone models that aren't being taken up

In response to the news, Apple's stock fell eight percent in after-hours trading yesterday and remains down since the markets opened today. US stocks have tumbled over the last three months as investors anxious that the economy might slow down dramatically because of a variety of challenges including the trade dispute and rising interest rates.

Stock markets jumped Friday as investors welcomed news of trade talks between the USA and China next week and the US government reported a big increase in hiring in December.

"It's not going to be just Apple", CEA chairman Kevin Hassett said in an interview on CNN.

The U.S. and China have raised tariffs on billions of dollars of each other's goods in a fight over issues including Beijing's technology policy, which Washington alleges is predatory.

Apple Inc on Wednesday took the rare step of cutting its quarterly sales forecast, with Chief Executive Tim Cook blaming slowing iPhone sales in China, whose economy has been dragged down by uncertainty around U.S. Greater China, a region that includes the mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan, accounted for most of the revenue shortfall, but iPhone upgrades also weren't as strong as the company anticipated in some developed markets, Cook said. But he said then that he "would not put China in that category" of countries with troubled growth. China is also one of Apple's most important markets, once referred to as a "hypermarket" by Cook. In November, the Cupertino, California-based company said it would quit disclosing unit sales data for iPhones and other hardware items, leading many analysts to worry that a drop in iPhone sales was coming.

The German case, part of a global patent spat between the two companies, is Qualcomm's third major effort to secure a ban on iPhones over patent-infringement allegations after similar moves in the United States and China.

Some analysts, however, questioned the impact of Apple's own actions, such as its unyielding pursuit of high selling prices for its products. The current median price target is $186.

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While Huawei still has a way to go in catching up to Apple in terms of revenue, it is making huge inroads in markets across the globe and its high-end models are increasingly popular. While we don't have the exact numbers, it's likely that many iPhone customers made a decision to pay the $30 to extend the life of their current handsets rather than shell out hundreds of dollars for a new model.

However, Apple continues to be optimistic about China. Nevertheless, Wall Street countered that iPhones, both at home and overseas, have gotten too pricey for customers' tastes, and analysts don't see any quick fixes for the problem.

"Until it changes this pricing strategy, it is unlikely to see market share growth and will most likely see a gradual contraction as iPhone users upgrade at slower rates", said Richardson.

In a note to investors, Apple CEO, Tim Cook, revealed that the company was revising its estimates for end-of-year income. Apple originally forecast revenue of between $89 billion and $93 billion.

Apple finished the day down 9.9 percent, at $142.19.

What was the main cause of this sales miss?

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