Apple has warned investors that its revenues for the final quarter of 2018 (its fiscal Q1) will be lower than it previously forecast. The company now expects quarterly revenues of around $84bn, compared to the $89bn-$93bn that it had predicted.
Among the reasons cited by CEO Tim Cook in a letter to investorsyesterday: the slowing Chinese economy, and lower-than-expected iPhone sales. On the former: “We believe the economic environment in China has been further impacted by rising trade tensions with the United States,” wrote Cook. “As the climate of mounting uncertainty weighed on financial markets, the effects appeared to reach consumers as well, with traffic to our retail stores and our channel partners in China declining as the quarter progressed. And market data has shown that the contraction in Greater China’s smartphone market has been particularly sharp.” China was also key to the lower-than-expected iPhone sales, although other markets also played a role. “In some developed markets, iPhone upgrades also were not as strong as we thought they would be,” admitted Cook. That includes people holding off for longer before upgrading – in part because of Apple’s decision to lower battery-replacement costs for older models last year.