Apple shares slide another six percent

Shares in Apple are starting to lose their shine after falling six percent yesterday.

According to Reuters, the company suffered its biggest single-day loss in four years.

Investors and analysts blamed the sell-off on a mix of factors, mostly connected to the fact that Apple is losing ground to Android.

There are also reports that at least one major stock-clearing house was raising margin requirements on Apple stock trades.

Other news which has gone against Apple is the fact that a hike in the capital gains tax in 2013 could damage the company, as well as news that Nokia had a deal to sell its flagship Lumia through China Mobile.

Apple lost $35 billion of market value as more than 37 million shares changed hands.

It has not been a good year for Apple. Those who like Apple’s controlled walled garden of delights have been rushing to buy the much cheaper Kindle Fire. Those who want freedom to do what they like have been buying the more liberal Android tablets which often have better specs. Even Microsoft’s half-baked Surface tablet looks like a good alternative.

Brian Battle, director of trading at Performance Trust Capital Partners in Chicago, told Reuters that the falling share price is not going to be a short-term trend.

Battle said the company needs “another home run” for shares to return to levels around $700 and without it Apple’s share price will gradually grind-down.

IDC warned that Apple will shed market share in the tablet computer space in 2012. Its worldwide tablet market share will fall to 53.8 percent in 2012 from 56.3 percent in 2011, while Android products would increase their share to 42.7 percent from 39.8 percent.

The fall of the reality distortion field apparently seems to have confused some analysts. The company had been expected to deliver reliably high revenue and earnings expansion for years to come. But since this information appeared to be based on what Apple told them, rather than any known facts, some analysts should be quitting their day jobs.

Daniel Ernst, analyst with Hudson Square Research, said that it made no sense that Apple’s share price was falling. His argument was that there were lines around the block for their products all around the world and no other company has that.

The fact that Ernst actually believes that you need to queue to buy any product in the internet age, and that Apple deliberately encourages its fan boys to line up for its products, indicates a particular marketing spin that worked rather well.