Shares in the world’s most valuable company fell by 4.1 percent to $165.72 on Friday. This fall gave Apple investors their worst day since the company reported an unexpected drop in iPhone unit sales in early February. The move came on the heels of Thursday’s 2.8 percent drop after one of Apple’s key suppliers warned of slowing smartphone sales.
The analysts’ warning on iPhone shipments is the latest in a string of reports suggesting Apple’s having trouble at the top of the market with its iPhone X. The $999 cellphone (starting) is proving too expensive for customers, Mirabaud Securities analyst Neil Campling told investors this week. He went so far as to say Apple’s iPhone X would be discontinued this year due to poor demand.
For its part, Apple hasn’t commented on specific iPhone model sales. And since the iPhone X’s release in November, Apple hasn’t divulged unit sales for the model. It’s unknown whether the company will discuss iPhone X sales when it announces its earnings on May 1.
Apple executives consistently fail to be straightforward about significant technology trends and how they affect the company. The biggest of the big trends: Growth in the smartphone market is gone, at least for now. The likeliest buyers now own at least one of the devices. Smartphone owners are holding onto their devices for longer than they used to before buying newer models. In many countries, people have divided into iPhone or Android camps, and there’s not much defection.
Some analysts are still optimistic that Apple’s repatriation of foreign cash and quickly growing services division could boost the business long term. Piper Jaffray analysts also said earlier this month that more teens than ever own iPhones. As a result, this could grow even more if prices fall.
Smartphone sales in China, the world’s biggest market, fell last year for the first time since 2009 while global sales fell in the fourth quarter of the year for the first time since 2004.