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Apple shares drop after news of waning iPhone sales

Danielle Chiriguayo Jan 3, 2019
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Apple CEO Tim Cook delivers the keynote address at the Apple 2012 World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) at Moscone West on June 11, 2012 in San Francisco, California.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Apple’s stock price dropped almost 10 percent Thursday, closing the day at $142.19, the company’s biggest single-day loss in six years. This comes a day after CEO Tim Cook announced a revision to Apple’s revenue guidance for the last quarter of 2018. 

Cook attributed the primary drop in revenue to challenges in emerging key markets — mainly China — and a waning in the sales of iPhones. He also said the timing of product releases, as well as a slowing of the Chinese economy played a factor. “The government-reported GDP growth during the September quarter was the second lowest in the last 25 years,” said Cook in a letter to Apple shareholders. 

A timeline illustrating Apple share prices in 2018.

The announcement comes on the heels of a recent Chines court ruling to halt the sale of some iPhones in China, after a petition from chipmaker Qualcomm accused Apple of patent violations. On Thursday it was also announced that Apple is likely to remove some iPhones from stores in Germany, as Qualcomm moves to enforce an earlier court order banning the sale of some iPhone models in the country. 

Meanwhile, Huawei and Oppo — two of Apple’s competitors in Chinese markets — have reported higher valued market shares within the last year.

Apple and smartphone competitors market shares in China.

Despite the revision, Cook also announced the company expects to “set all-time revenue records in several developed countries,” including the United States. 

Apple’s full Q1 fiscal report is expected to be released on Jan. 29.

Click the audio player above to hear Marketplace reporter Ben Bradford on how Apple’s services could make up for the tech company’s softer smartphone sales.

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