Apple CEO Tim Cook’s letter to investors certainly has come as a surprise, admitting as it did that global sales are weak and that revenue is likely to be $5 billion less than originally projected.

By pointing out that the company’s sales in China are declining and by providing the financial proof that the company has failed to localize effectively, the letter served up even more material to Apple bears.

Clearly, Apple is facing a dire situation—but not for the reasons many people assume. Contrary to what’s widely cited as a reason, including from Cook himself, Apple’s hard time in China is not because of the trade war that’s raging between the US and China. Instead, the company’s woes have been a long time coming.

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John Artman

John Artman is the Editor in Chief for TechNode, the leading English information source for news and insight into China’s tech and startups, and co-host of the China Tech Talk podcast, a regular discussion...