Apple to Announce its First Profit Fall in 10 Years

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Apple is expected to record its first ever drop in earnings since 2003 tonight, as the company's shares have dropped nearly 30 percent since September. 

The drop in shares erases about $190 billion in market value. This raises concerns that the world is falling out of love with iPhones and iPads.

This follows a recent disappointment in sales for the iPhone 5, a rise in production costs, and growing competition in the smart phone and tablet market. 

Apple's earnings report, which is to be released tonight, is expected to demonstrate a first-quarter net income fall of 2 percent, to $12.8 billion or $13.48 a share. This is the company's first drop in ten years. 

Many analysts predict sales will rise 18 percent to $54.8 billion, which is the slowest rate of growth in four years. 

There are many factors to blame for the company's market decline, including a recent saturation of smart phones by rival companies like Samsung. 

Samsung is Apple's main rival, offering more than 80 touchscreen smart phones similar to the iPhone. Many smart phone customers are choosing Samsung's smart phones over the iPhone, as the iPhone is more expensive and requires a two-year contract. 

Some believe the company's problems started when they released the highly anticipated iPhone 5. Apple fans were disappointed with the phone, criticizing its new maps feature and design. Even die hard fans were upset over the phone, saying it "scratched too easily" and lacked significant upgrades.

It was recently revealed that the company has dramatically cut orders for the iPhone 5 after the demand for the phone has grown weaker. They reportedly cut the number of screen orders in half and reduced orders for other iPhone parts. 

Others blame the death of Steve Jobs for the company's apparent struggle, and believe it is only a matter of time until the company loses its innovation. 

Apple launched the iPad Mini, a product Jobs specifically said would be a bad idea before he passed. 

The company could bounce back if it offered a budget iPhone or a new television product that links the iPad and iPhone. 

Analyst Katy Huberty of Morgan Stanley said that people are overreacting to Apple's market struggle. Huberty said investors should instead take advantage of the lower share price and use it as an opportunity to buy. 

Toni Sacconaghi, an analyst with Sanford C. Berstein & Co., said even if growth continues at its current rate, the company revenue will reach $1.2 trillion in five years, which is roughly the size of Australia's gross domestic product.