Apple warns investors to expect weaker profit, blaming China's worsening economy

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Mr. Cook wrote that lower-than-expected iPhone revenue, largely in China, "accounts for all of our revenue shortfall to our guidance and for much more than our entire year-over-year revenue decline".

Traders braced for another dose of the turbulence that ruled equities all December after reduced guidance at Apple Inc. sent exchange-traded funds tracking major indexes falling.

In recent years, Apple has responded to a slowdown in smartphone sales by raising prices - a move that has helped the company enjoy record revenues, even while the industry generally contracts.

The reason? "China's economy began to slow in the second half of 2018." Wow.

Cook also said that Apple hurt its bottom line when it slashed the price of iPhone battery replacements early previous year after it was caught red-handed slowing down older iPhones to preserve their aging batteries. In his letter on Wednesday, Mr. Cook pointed out that the company's quarterly non-iPhone revenue grew 19 per cent year-over-year.

"We expected economic weakness in some emerging markets". The price-earnings ratio of the Nasdaq 100 Index hit a four-year low below 20 last month, and Apple itself traded close to 12 times annual profit, more than three percentage points below the mean for the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

Chief executive Tim Cook said on Wednesday the company expects sales of about US$84 billion (NZ$127 billion) in the quarter ended December 29, down from earlier estimates of US$89b to US$93b. "It will be interesting to see how Apple shares react if there's a China trade agreement". Apple CEO Tim Cook wrote a letter to investors, which was issued alongside the press release, and he also spoke to CNBC Wednesday afternoon to answer questions about the quarter and revised guidance.

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Wearables grew by nearly 50 percent year-over-year, as Apple Watch and AirPods were wildly popular among holiday shoppers; launches of MacBook Air and Mac mini powered the Mac to year-over-year revenue growth and the launch of the new iPad Pro drove iPad to year-over-year double-digit revenue growth. Sales of Apple Watch Series 4 and iPad Pro were constrained much or all of the quarter. With this simple upgrade, customers could have a device performing like it was fresh out of the box in their hands after roughly 45 mins to an hour of "surgery" at an Apple Store.

Hal Eddins, chief economist at Apple shareholder Capital Investment Counsel, said Cook's comments on the impact of the United States trade tensions with China "might be a dig at Trump, but mostly he may be using the trade turmoil as an excuse for some missteps they've made over the last year".

iPhone volumes for the quarter now look to be around ~63 million units, down a fairly shocking 18%.

Apple acknowledged that demand for iPhones is waning, fulfilling the worst fears of investors concerned that the company's most profitable product has lost some of its luster.

In addition, the holiday quarter was big for Apple's wearables business. Cook noted that Apple will accelerate plans to make it easier to trade in phones, finance and transfer data.

Apple's poor performance was echoed by its fello Faang companies - Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google - which all performed poorly in 2018.

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