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Apple lowers revenue guidance citing weak iPhone sales in China

By Daniel Uria
Apple lowers revenue guidance citing weak iPhone sales in China
Chinese shoppers check out the latest iPhones and computers at Apple's flagship store in Beijing on November 13, 2018. Apple lowered its revenue guidance for its first fiscal quarter in 2019, citing poor iPhone sales in China in a letter to investors. Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 2 (UPI) -- Apple lowered its revenue guidance for its first fiscal quarter in 2019 in a letter to investors Wednesday evening.

In the letter, Apple CEO Tim Cook cited a range of issues including a weakening economy in China and lower than anticipated iPhone sales as it lowered its revenue guidance to $84 billion from the $89 billion to $93 billion it had previously projected.

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The company also slightly lowered its gross margin from between 38 percent and 38.5 percent to 38 percent.

Apple said it was aware changing the timing of its iPhone launches would affect year-over-year compares between the first quarter of 2018 and the first quarter of 2019, and that "an unprecedented number of new products" would "gate our sales of certain products." It also anticipated "some challenges in key emerging markets," but "did not foresee the magnitude of the economic deceleration" especially in China.

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"Lower than anticipated iPhone revenue, primarily in Greater China, accounts for all of our revenue shortfall to our guidance and for much more than our entire year-over-year revenue decline," Cook said.

Cook also cited a decreased amount carrier subsidies, price increases based on the strength of the U.S. dollar and the company offering cheaper battery replacements for contributing to the overall low number of iPhone upgrades.

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Apple's stock closed up 0.11 percent at the end of trading Wednesday. Its stock was halted in after-hour trading before the release of the letter and went on to fall 7.55 percent after it resumed.

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Despite lower revenue projections, Apple reported it has approximately $130 billion in net cash and expects to report an all-time record for Apple's earnings per share.

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