Apple Inc. on Tuesday, lost 5.2 percent of its market value when its shares fell $6.23 at the NYSE to close at $113.49, amidst concerns about the company’s future growth prospects, especially in the all-important Chinese market. An analyst for investment banking firm Jefferies and Company, Mr. Sundeep Bajikar, also cut his target on the company’s shares on the same day, citing “macro demand uncertainty for iPhone primarily in China”. It’s not as if only analysts are downbeat about Apple’s recent future either. According to reports, Apple itself reduced orders for components from suppliers in recent times, with softening demand from the Chinese market in light of slowing growth and a falling stock market in the country.
Mr. Bajikar however, believes that the company will continue to see strong demand for its iPhones in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Seoul and Tokyo. In China, he sees the strongest competition for Apple coming from global giant Samsung and local heavyweights Xiaomi and Huawei. In recent times, even Samsung has struggled to move its products from the retail shelves, leading to disappointing results for the South Korea-based company. Samsung has already started cutting prices for its premium Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge smartphones, and decided to prepone its Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 Edge+ launch by the better part of a month in an apparent attempt to stave off the ill-effects of less-than-expected sales of its current flagships which were introduced earlier in the year.
Meanwhile, Bluefin Research Partners analysts Mr. John Donovan and Mr. Steve Mullane also published a report with a less-than-optimistic outlook for Apple in the near future. Their report indicates that Apple might make as many as 8 million fewer iPhones in H2, 2015, than previously estimated, amidst concerns about the delay in production of the upcoming iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. Their forecast suggests that the number of iPhones manufactured in the last six months of this year will top out at 122 million, rather than the previously estimated 130 million. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo had previously reported that Apple is a week or two behind schedule in rolling out the next generation iPhones. While Samsung is expected to unveil its next generation phablet flagships on Thursday, Apple is said to be prepping the launch of its new iPhone lineup early next month, according to rumors.