Sunday 17 December 2017

Analysts now wary on Apple before iPhone 7 launch

Investors talk of ‘peak iPhone’its
Investors talk of ‘peak iPhone’its

Supantha Mukherjee and Tenzin Pema

Apple's shares were down 7.7pc at $96.30 each in early US trading yesterday and set for their biggest one-day fall in more than two years, a day after the company reported its first-ever fall in smartphone sales. Apple also reported its first drop in revenue in a decade.

Sales in China, the company's most important market after the United States, fell 26pc. Apple also forecast another disappointing quarter ahead for sales.

The results have prompting talk of "peak iPhone". For many analysts, the company's immediate future rests with the much-anticipated iPhone 7, which Apple is expected to launch in September.

"If iPhone 7 doesn't surprise with meaningful new useful features, we worry that consumers won't upgrade," Macquarie analyst Ben Schachter wrote in a note to clients. "And unfortunately, nothing that we've seen about iPhone 7 thus far strikes us as particularly innovative," he said. Goldman Sachs removed Apple from its conviction "buy" list after Apple's results.

It was one of at least 16 brokerages that cut price outlooks on Apple's shares. Goldman cut its target to $136 from $155 while retaining a "buy" rating.

Of the 46 analysts covering the stock, 37 rate it "buy" or the equivalent. Apple usually launches new iPhones in September, on time for Christmas. (Reuters)

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