Skip to main content

Is Apple starting to lose its bite?

By Ramy Inocencio, for CNN
December 19, 2012 -- Updated 0144 GMT (0944 HKT)
Apple's flagship store in Beijing, China. Apple started selling the iPhone 5 on the Chinese mainland on December 17.
Apple's flagship store in Beijing, China. Apple started selling the iPhone 5 on the Chinese mainland on December 17.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Apple's share price has fallen 25% since record high of $702.10 set three months ago
  • UBS, Citibank & Mizuho analysts all cut share price targets for Apple in past few days
  • Morgan Stanley: Record 19 million iPhone 5's forecast to have been sold in Q4 2012
  • iPhone 5S, 6 & rumored "iTV' may pull up Apple's share price in 2013, say analysts

Hong Kong (CNN) -- Apple's share price has fallen more than 25% since its record high set three months ago -- no less than five analysts have lowered their price targets for the U.S. technology giant in the past few days.

To make matters worse for Apple, Android smartphones continue to reign supreme in global market share: for every one such device running on Apple's iOS, about seven smartphones running Android's operating system are computing away.

Is Apple losing its bite? In the short-term, investors and analysts seem to think so. But in the medium-term, they believe milestones exist that can put the shine back on Apple's share price and image.

Apples do fall

On September 19, Apple's share price closed at a historic high of $702.10, exactly one week after the debut of the iPhone 5. But as the freshness of the device's latest iteration wore off, so did the bullishness for Apple's stock. On December 17, it fell below the psychological $500-mark, to slide below $497 in pre-market trading. The company's share price quickly climbed above that threshold that day but still sits at lows not seen since mid-February.

Apple sells 5 million iPhones
Apple apologizes for Maps app problems
Apple fans line up to buy new iPhone
iPhone 5 is successful despite flaws

The dive in Apple's share price has also been attributed to a cut in orders from its parts suppliers. One fear is that Apple may have produced too many iPhone 5s in the current quarter and it may now need to scale back manufacturing in 2013. Analysts from UBS, Citibank, Mizuho, Canaccord and Pacific Crest all cut their price targets on Apple leading to a further drop in the Cupertino-based company's share price.

Another fear is that the iPhone 5 has not been selling as well as previous versions; however that has now been debunked. A record 19 million iPhone 5 units are estimated to have been sold in the U.S. in the fourth quarter of 2012, according to a survey by Morgan Stanley, which would represent a 33% year-on-year increase. Apple also sold more than two million iPhone 5 units in China when it debuted this past weekend.

"Customer response to iPhone 5 in China has been incredible, setting a new record with the best first weekend sales ever in China," said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO, in a press release.

"The Company remains on track to launch in 100 countries by the end of the year. In our view, this is a positive," said RBC's Amit Daryanani.

Comparing Apples To Androids

But for all the hope and the hype that surrounds Apple, Android smartphones reign supreme in terms of market share by operating system.

Investment research firm Morningstar says Apple has much work to do in 2013. "Although Apple has a robust product pipeline and ample opportunity to gain share in its various end markets, short product life cycles and intense competition will prevent the firm from resting on its laurels," it wrote in a statement.

Globally, less than two in ten smartphones that shipped in the third quarter of 2012 sported Apple's iOS operating software. But in that same period, Google's Android platform ran 75% of smartphones around the world. This also represented a 91.5% increase over the same quarter in 2011, according to International Data Corporation.

Smart bites
  • Three out of four smartphones ran on Android in Q3 of 2011
  • Android smartphones increased 91.5% between 2011 and 2012
  • Less than two in ten smartphones in the world run on Apple iOS
  • RIM's Blackberry and Nokia's Symbian platforms have suffered most


Apple's iOS claimed just under a 15% market share in the same period.

Apple's next crop

Despite the recent release of the iPhone 5, analysts are already looking ahead to Apple's potential product releases for 2013 to pull the company's share price up.

"For Apple we believe the sell-off is nearing a bottom but we acknowledge the fears around margins, maps, emerging markets, competition and execution. The company clearly needs to ease these concerns in the near future," said Barclays' Ben Reitzes. "It may take another round of new products and innovations to regain investor confidence and help drive another run."

One analyst from Jefferies predicts an iPhone 5S may ship in the summer of 2013 and that iPhone 6 prototypes already exist.

Speculation is also growing that Apple may debut an Apple television set, a so-called iTV, by the fall of 2013. In a recent Morgan Stanley survey, 47% of 1,568 respondents said they were "somewhat interested" or "extremely interested" in buying an Apple-branded TV set which could translate into 56 million units being sold in the U.S. alone.

The report added a potential iTV rollout represents a new $13 billion opportunity for the world's most valuable company.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
June 17, 2014 -- Updated 1206 GMT (2006 HKT)
London is promoting its tech stars to shows it can compete with Silicon Valley. Here are five companies to watch.
June 18, 2014 -- Updated 1222 GMT (2022 HKT)
It's not easy being Jordan and it is about to become even more difficult, again.
June 18, 2014 -- Updated 1502 GMT (2302 HKT)
At the last football World Cup, it was all about 3D. This time around, it's nothing less than 4K.
June 5, 2014 -- Updated 1416 GMT (2216 HKT)
Bob Mazzer has photographed inside London's Tube network for 40 years. He's captured history.
June 13, 2014 -- Updated 1529 GMT (2329 HKT)
Iraq produces 3.3 million barrels per day and has the world's fourth-largest oil reserves. But the current crisis is putting all this in danger.
June 18, 2014 -- Updated 1222 GMT (2022 HKT)
Sandwiched in between Iraq and Syria, Jordan's destiny seems to be one of a constant struggle for survival. John Defterios explains.
June 16, 2014 -- Updated 1314 GMT (2114 HKT)
The gas standoff between Russia and Ukraine could have a knock-on effect on Europe. Explore this map to find out why is the EU nervous.
June 5, 2014 -- Updated 1416 GMT (2216 HKT)
Bob Mazzer has photographed inside London's Tube network for 40 years. He's captured history.
June 17, 2014 -- Updated 1206 GMT (2006 HKT)
The UK capital promotes its tech stars and shows it can compete with Silicon Valley. Here are five companies that pitch to make it big.
June 3, 2014 -- Updated 0956 GMT (1756 HKT)
Banksy has condemned an exhibition of his work after organizers defended their decision to remove his art from public spaces.
June 3, 2014 -- Updated 1029 GMT (1829 HKT)
As debate rages over whether Banksys should be for sale, we direct you to the ones you can still see on the streets.
June 2, 2014 -- Updated 1338 GMT (2138 HKT)
While Ukraine's fight for freedom gets bloodier by the day and Russia faces the West's cold shoulder, one oligarch is using art to get his message across.
May 30, 2014 -- Updated 2114 GMT (0514 HKT)
Index on Censorship's Jodie Ginsberg argues the "right to be forgotten" decision is too woolly.
May 29, 2014 -- Updated 1613 GMT (0013 HKT)
Andy McNab says being a psychopath makes us better at business, life and love. Could he be right?
May 28, 2014 -- Updated 1720 GMT (0120 HKT)
Google has revealed a prototype of its latest driverless car -- and this one doesn't even have a steering wheel.
May 30, 2014 -- Updated 1024 GMT (1824 HKT)
CNN's Nina dos Santos speaks to the mothers of successful children and asks them: What's the secret of bringing up a winner?
May 26, 2014 -- Updated 1613 GMT (0013 HKT)
Far-right and far-left parties across Europe caused a political "earthquake," with a string of victories in voting for the European Parliament.
May 26, 2014 -- Updated 1623 GMT (0023 HKT)
CNN's Fionnuala Sweeney speaks to Mihaela Carstei about the $400B gas deal recently struck between Russia and China.
May 21, 2014 -- Updated 0818 GMT (1618 HKT)
The EU is struggling to identify its vision after financial crisis. The European elections are key, and Nina dos Santos says the union needs a new vision.
May 26, 2014 -- Updated 1135 GMT (1935 HKT)
CNN's Nina Dos Santos sits down with Elon Musk's mother Maye, who tells her the story of her family and their success.
May 7, 2014 -- Updated 1410 GMT (2210 HKT)
Boko Haram attacks have shifted the focus at the World Economic Forum hosted by Nigeria, CNN's John Defterios explains.
May 20, 2014 -- Updated 2219 GMT (0619 HKT)
Russian oligarch is set to lose half his wealth after being ordered to pay his former wife $4.5 billion in a divorce settlement.
April 2, 2014 -- Updated 1324 GMT (2124 HKT)
China's ultimate goal is to reach a wide-ranging trade agreement with the EU. The EU hopes to persuade China to open its markets.
ADVERTISEMENT