SAN FRANCISCO: Apple cut its revenue outlook for the latest quarter on Wednesday, citing steeper-than-expected “economic deceleration” in China and emerging markets. The rare revenue warnings from Apple suggested weaker-than-anticipated sales of iPhones and other gadgetry, in part because of trade frictions between Washington and Beijing.
Apple shares slid some 7.6 per cent in after-hours trade on the news. The company slashed its revenue guidance for the first fiscal quarter of 2019, ended December 29, to $84 billion — sharply lower than analyst forecasts averaging $91 billion.
“While we anticipated some challenges in key emerging markets, we did not foresee the magnitude of the economic deceleration, particularly in Greater China,” Apple chief executive Tim Cook said in a letter to investors. “We believe the economic environment in China has been further impacted by rising trade tensions with the United States.” Apple is the target of nationalist sentiment over the arrest of Huawei’s chief financial officer in Canada at the behest of the United States on alleged Iran sanctions violations. Meng Wanzhou was detained in Canada on December 1 on a US extradition request linked to sanctions-breaking business dealings with Iran. The Chinese government has condemned the arrest and demanded her release. Some Chinese netizens and companies have also turned against Apple.