Monday 22 January 2018

Apple struggles to arrest fall as rivals grab market share

Peter Flanagan New Technology Correspondent

APPLE'S value fell below $500bn yesterday, as the company struggled to arrest the sharp drop in its share price.

The company fell more than 3pc in New York before rebounding slightly, but couldn't regain all the ground lost this week as the shares remained close to their lowest level in more than four years.

There was a huge sell-off of the company on Wednesday, when shares fell more than 6pc.

Analysts were split on what caused traders to dump the company, which is now acknowledged as the world's biggest publicly traded firm.

Some pointed to concern that the maker of the iPhone was losing ground to Nokia in China, while new data has shown Google has cut into Apple's dominance of the tablet market.

The iPhone has fallen to the sixth most popular in China, as customers shun the expensive model in favour of Chinese and Windows-based devices.

Others, however, have questioned Apple's decision to pay a special dividend to shareholders instead of investing more in research and development.

Apple shares peaked at just over $702 last September after the iPhone 5 launch.

Yesterday Apple chief executive Tim Cook confirmed his company would manufacture a line of its MacBook Pro computers in the US, marking the first time since the 1990s that it will have made one of its products on its home soil.

Since shifting production abroad, Apple has focused on designing its products in the US before handing production contracts to companies in the Far East with low labour costs.

The company uses the huge manufacturer Foxconn, which has been accused of using low paid workers in unhealthy conditions.

Irish Independent

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