The writing is on the wall for the flash in the pan cargo cult Apple.
The outfit announced that it sold only 33.8 million iPhones in its September quarter, which would be good for any other company that did not pride itself on meteoric growth.
Stock slid by five percent as shareholders realised that things were not going to get better for Apple for a while.
The cocaine nose jobs of Wall Street had thought that Apple would surprise them and say that all the rumours about cutting back on production were untrue.
While chief executive Tim Cook predicted a “really great” holiday season the figures for the last quarter were underwhelming.
Revenues from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan climbed just six percent to $5.7 billion in the quarter, despite the 5C and 5S going on sale in September. This figure was supposed to be much higher and indicate that Apple had cracked the Chinese market.
Overall sales grew by about 24 percent from the previous quarter, or by about $1.1 billion. That was behind the $1.4 billion that Apple managed to tack on in the December quarter of 2012.
Cook, the freshly hatched CEO of Apple, thought results from China were “pretty good” but acknowledged there was room for improvement.
What Cook did not talk about was the balls up the company made launching an overpriced iPhone 5C while restricting supply for the more expensive 5S because of the Bosch effect, as we revealed here.
Apple expected revenues of $55 billion to $58 billion this quarter. Wall Street thought that would be about right, but they were being gloomy about Apple’s prospects.
Gross profit margin for the fourth quarter ended September was 37 percent, down from 40 per cent a year ago. That was roughly level with analysts’ average 36.9 percent forecast.
Apple is finding it very hard to see off its rivals. Strategy Analytics estimated on Monday that Apple’s market share slipped to 13.4 percent in the calendar third quarter from 15.6 percent previously, while Samsung led with 35.2 percent.
Vassilis Tziokas, Marketing Manager, Upstream said that If Apple wants a larger slice of the smartphone pie, it will need to think long and hard about its current strategy.
“Holding onto its premium brand status has so far served the company well, particularly in the West, but now all eyes are on the emerging markets where smartphone use is set to grow at exponential levels,” he said.