Saturday, January 5, 2019

A Rough Day for Apple

Wednesday was a rough day for Apple. 

According to CNBC on Thursday, two Wall Street analysts Jefferies Group and Macquarie Group had each thrown in the towel and downgraded the stock to a neutral rating from buy. Others had murderously slashed price targets on Apple. 

This came in the wake of a rare earnings warning after the market closed on Wednesday afternoon, stating that Apple’s holiday-quarter performance is expected to fall well short of the guidance the company issued last October. 

Apple had originally told investors to expect revenues to be as high as $93 billion – now, they have revised them down to $84 billion, a decline of nearly 8 percent. 

And they took the easy way out by planking down the blame on China – Apple CEO Tim Cook (right) had attributed the shortfall on worse-than-expected iPhone sales in that country. 

Citi agreed: “Apple cited the majority of (their) sales miss from China which last quarter represented 18% of the company’s total sales which we estimate is now closer to 10-12%”. 

But it’s interesting to note that pundits are already tossing around theories that iPhone sales are weaker than expected in other key regions, too. 

If that is indeed the case, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise considering how expensive Apple’s current iPhone line-up is. Not only that, but the latest iPhones lack any novel marquee features that might encourage people to upgrade. 

After all, the iPhone XS is a faster iPhone X, the iPhone XS Max is a bigger iPhone X, and the iPhone XR is a more colorful iPhone X. And that’s pretty much it. 

The last time Apple made a spectacularly shocking announcement was in 2002 – at that time, Apple were largely just selling personal computers, and had been selling their original iPod for less than a year. The iPhone wouldn’t be announced until 5 years later in 2007. 

In that year, they had warned investors in a letter to expect revenues around $1.4 billion – down from its original guidance of $1.6 billion. 

Putting the above aside, I want to share this comment by Apple blogger John Gruber! 

He had pointed out the 2002 missive, written by then-CEO Steve Jobs (left), clocked in at a concise 200 words. Comparing that to CEO Tim Cook’s 1,400-word document on Wednesday, Gruber had written, “delivering bad news was one area where Steve Jobs really shined in a way that Tim Cook just can’t”. 


The fact remains, however, that even with the revenue downgrade, Apple will still announce massive profits for the quarter relative to the competition. Therefore, we needn’t be overly concerned by that Wednesday which pummelled Apple.

This morning, I was at Taylor’s University in Jalan Taylors, Subang Jaya in Selangor for their Toastmasters meeting. 

That’s because thanks to Elysia Teh, I got hold of a speaking slot. And so, I delivered my Advanced speech titled Unbutton Me – assignment #5 The Humorous Speech from the Humorously Speaking manual. 

This was my project #685 and successfully completing the speech allowed me to earn my sixth ACB award:

Check out photos from the said Taylor’s Toastmasters Club meeting:

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