It was once of the most dependable options on the stock market, but technology giant Apple are continuing to see their share prices decline. The company, whose share price was not so long ago at over $700, has suffered a series of setbacks and disappointing product releases which have had a negative impact meaning that it has now fell beneath the $600 mark.
The Fall of Steve Jobs
The death of Steve Jobs in October 2011 was a huge blow to the company. Investors began to speculate upon how Apple would fare without its leading visionary. Since Jobs’ death, Apple have had a number of big-publicity products release onto the market. The iPhone 4S was released globally across autumn and winter 2011, and sold four million units in just its first three days. Customers were generally impressed by the 4S’s new features, including voice-controlled application Siri.
However, this year’s release of its successor, the iPhone 5, has proven to be less successful. Initially, it appeared to be a success, as it actually topped the figures achieved by the 4S by selling five million units in the first three days. However, this was significantly less than that expected by analysts, who had instead predicted sales figures of between six and nine million. It has also not been as positively received by the public as was hoped; the iOS 6 system which the phone operates on has, in particular, been criticised. As well as widespread complaints of iOS 6 as being buggy and slowing down devices, there is huge condemnation of the new map services offered. Whereas Apple used to utilize Google Maps, they have now introduced their own version. This has proven to be unpopular with users, and has even been featured in the press for its embarrassing inaccuracies for example, the app’s full omission of English town Portsmouth from the map.
Issues This May Cause
Further issues which are sure to be a worry to investors, or those who have taken to spread betting expecting Apple’s share prices to improave, include the iPad mini and the departure of Scott Foretall from the company. Share prices were expected to see a spike once the new iPad device was released, but this didn’t happen. Brokers were apparently concerned by the high retail price of $329. While consumers have paid these prices for Apple products before, it was difficult to predict whether they would do so this time. A particular reason for this is that both Google and Amazon are releasing very similar devices to the iPad mini but at the significantly cheaper price of less than $250. The news of Scott Foretall leaving the company is also thought to have impacted upon investors’ decisions. Scott was regarded as the protege of Steve Jobs, and so his resignation – allegedly following internal disputes – is thought to have acted as a reminder that the Jobs era for Apple is over.
As always, it will be interesting to see how the company’s fortunes continue to fare on the stock market over the coming months.