Sagging demand for the iPhone shows no sign of abating

14 Mars, 2019, 15:52 | Auteur: Auguste Feret

Price cuts in China have not helped revive demand for Apple's iPhone according to an analyst firm cited by Bloomberg. He affirmed his neutral rating on the stock and said the lack of a rebound in iPhone sales creates risk and shifts more focus to Apple's March 25 event, where the company is expected to introduce a video programming service and premium magazine subscription plan.

Apple had no comment on the research reports, but Chief Executive Tim Cook told analysts during its latest earnings call in late January that iPhone's global installed base reached a record 900 million in December, up 75 million in the past 12 months.

According to data compiled by Bloomberg, nearly 20 percent of Apple's fiscal 2018 revenue was derived from China, and the iPhone accounted for 62 percent of revenue.

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"Multiple iPhone price cuts did not stop China iPhone search trends from weakening further while February supplier sales were abysmal, decelerating on a year over year basis vs. January", Harrison wrote in a research note Tuesday.

Longbow Research used searches on China's dominant search engine, Baidu, to draw its conclusions, reckoning that year-on-year, interest had fallen by 47 per cent from 2018. According to FactSet, 20 recommend buying shares and 18 recommend holding the stock. The average price target of $179.06 is slightly below Apple's closing price of $180.91 on Tuesday.

The situation isn't likely to improve in Apple's forthcoming fiscal second-quarter results. These estimates indicate a drop of almost 13 percent in profitability and sales falling 5.9 percent compared to the prior-year period.

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