Briefing: Apple cuts sales forecast following weakened China sales 1 min read

Apple CEO Tim Cook leaves the stage after speaking at a high school

Apple's CEO Tim Cook has recently confirmed what we all knew since mid-October: sales of the new iPhones aren't as high as anticipated and owners prefer to stick with their current devices rather than upgrade to the latest generation.

Apple ended Wednesday's session with a share price of $157.92, which was already a 30% decline from an all-time high of $227.63 on August 27.

Cook said there were some bright spots for Apple in some parts of the world and that the company expects "all-time revenue records in several developed countries, including the United States, Canada, Germany, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and [South] Korea".

CEO Tim Cook wrote in a letter to investors that lower-than-expected iPhone revenue, "primarily" in Greater China, was largely to blame, sending shares down 10% Thursday for their worst day in six years. In November, the company said it would stop reporting unit sales of iPhones, iPads and Macs beginning in fiscal 2019.

New York-based law firm Bernstein Liebhart has filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of Apple shareholders this afternoon, citing "allegations that Apple and/or its executives may have issued materially misleading business information to the investing public".

But the majority of Apple analysts are holding onto their bullish views despite problems seemingly coming from all corners.

CLSA estimates the iPhone's ASP is set to increase by at least 7% versus a year ago, to $US852.

Still, the market seemed to be caught off guard.

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A "deceleration" of growth in the Chinese economy was blamed for the adjustment but rising trade tensions between the country and the U.S. was cited by Apple CEO Tim Cook as an impact on the economy. The Christmas and New Year holiday period is traditionally an especially busy time for Apple as it follows the release of new iPhone models.

The diminished expectations in Apple's guidance has also led investors to have doubts about China's economy, the second-largest in the world. The company also sees the traffic to retail stores and partner sellers in China declining in the quarter.

He noted that China's economy started to weaken in second-half 2018.

President Donald Trump made his first comments on Apple's this Friday - and they were largely dismissive.

"It's not going to be just Apple", CEA chairman Kevin Hassett said in an interview on CNN.

Apple, which was until recently the largest publically trade company in the U.S., is now worth less than Microsoft, Amazon and Google's parent company, Alphabet. The Trump administration responded by Apple products from the tariffs.

Among big industrial companies that could suffer from a drop in demand from China, Caterpillar declined 3.9 percent, Deere 2.7 percent and Boeing 4 percent. Apple is appealing the decision.

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