Briefing: Apple cuts sales forecast following weakened China sales

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Apple cuts sales forecast as China sales weaken; iPhone pricing in focus – Reuters

What happened: In a rare move, Apple has cut its quarterly sales forecast, blaming its poor performance on trade tensions between China and the US, as well as economic deceleration in Greater China. In a letter to investors, Apple CEO Tim Cook said the company had not anticipated the magnitude of the slowdown in the region. Cook also that Chinese consumers may have elected not to buy iPhones because Apple is an American company, instead opting to support the firm’s Chinese competitors.

Why it’s important: While Apple has blamed support for Chinese brands and a slowing economy on its revenue drop, analysts pointed out that the company itself may be to blame. Increasingly high prices could have also played a role. Some of the company’s iPhones have passed the $1,000 mark while Chinese brands look to fill the mass market. The drop in sales was also not entirely a surprise. In November, the company said it would stop reporting unit sales data for iPhones and other products. The move led analysts to believe a drop was coming.