Apple Is the New Nokia, Analyst Warns

An Apple store in China

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The world's second largest economy, China is feeling the effects of a darkening trade outlook and government attempts to rein in risky lending after a rapid rise in debt levels.

Investors were shaken this week as Apple warned late Wednesday it would miss revenue expectations for its fiscal first-quarter.

The tech giant has gone as far as assigning members of its marketing team to work full-time on boosting sales, and has upped the amount it is willing to pay for devices traded in toward the purchase of a new iPhone, according to a report earlier this month. Other brand names such as Ford Motor Co. and jeweler Tiffany & Co. already have reported abrupt declines in sales to Chinese buyers.

Cook said Apple's revenue for the October-December quarter - including the crucial holiday shopping season - will fall well below the company's earlier projections and those of analysts, whose estimates sway the stock market.

Apple surprised Wall Street on Wednesday afternoon after the market closed by issuing revised guidance for its fourth quarter in a letter from CEO Tim Cook to investors.

Cook also cited the trade war between the U.S. and China as another factor.

"I think there are a heck of a lot of United States companies that have a lot of sales in China that are basically going to be watching their earnings be downgraded next year until we get a deal with China".

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The price gap is one reason Huawei surpassed Apple in smartphone sales from April through September previous year to seize the No. 2 spot behind industry leader Samsung, according to the research firm International Data Corp. Trade tensions between Beijing and Washington have also intensified with tit-for-tat tariffs.

Munster and Thompson said it would take "a new product category", or large acquisition to allow Apple to regain its momentum. The iPhone is the most important Apple product and brought in around 60 percent of the total revenues.

Weakness in Chinese demand is especially painful for Apple and other smartphone makers. For the three months to 29.

Still, some local players managed to grow against the trend and they may be eating into Apple's market share. AMS, which makes facial recognition sensors for iPhone X, fell 17 percent.

Despite all that, Apple continues to face fierce competitive pressure from Android smartphone makers trying to move into the premium portion of that market - and I don't see that abating in 2019. Universal Display Corp. declined 3.5 per cent and Lumentum Holdings Inc. tumbled 8.7 per cent. Shares of USA retailers that sell Apple products were also weak on the news.

According to the Apple boss, "more than 100 per cent" of its missed revenue could be attributed to a sales decline in China, as demand for its iPhone and iPad products weakened and fewer customers chose to upgrade their smartphones.

Apple's suppliers also saw a drop in stock prices in the wake of Cook's announcement, with semiconductor companies Micron Techology and Cirrus Logic taking a hit of 3 percent and 6.4 percent respectively. -China trade war plays out, and as long as that situation remains fluid, the company might not recover that income in the near term in spite of stronger sales across the catalog.

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