Apple shares slide 8% on weak holiday iPhone sales

Investor confidence ebbs further as China Mobile deal bears less fruit than expected
Apple saw record sales of its iPhones in the fourth quarter, shifting 51m units, but analysts had hoped for 55m. (Getty Images)
Apple saw record sales of its iPhones in the fourth quarter, shifting 51m units, but analysts had hoped for 55m. (Getty Images)

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Apple Inc suffered an 8% decline in share price following lacklustre holiday iPhone sales and deflated revenue projections, Reuters reported.

A breakthrough iPhone distribution deal with China Mobile failed to garner expected shipment volumes, despite giving Cupertino-based Apple much-needed access to the world's largest subscriber base.

Apple saw record sales of its iPhones in the fourth quarter, shifting 51m units, but analysts had hoped for 55m. Its deal with China Mobile yielded heightened projections of as much as $44bn, but analysts had estimated $46bn.

"After showing modest signs of improvement, we're back to a no-growth outlook," said JMP Securities' Alex Gauna. "It's something Apple needs to find an answer to... If it can't prove that it's going to be a growth story again, the valuation is too high."

China has become Apple's key battleground as it seeks out larger, unsaturated markets for its handsets. But competition from South Korea's Samsung Electronics and budget domestic vendors such as Huawei Technologies' Devices unit, has proved difficult to overcome.

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