Apple shares drop further following tepid iPhone 5 launch in China

Apple stock is now down 30 per cent on the high water mark it set earlier this year, after the iPhone 5 failed to provoke excitement upon its launch in China.

Shares closed at $509.79 (UK£315.31, AUD$482.28) on the NASDAQ index on Friday and had fallen as low as $505.58 (UK£312.71, AUD$478.30) during the day.

That's a considerable drop from the record $705.07 (UK£436.10, AUD$667.02) the company reached on September 19, but still up 26 per cent on the year.

The continued fall follows a lukewarm reception for the iPhone 5 in China, following its launch on Friday, likely due to the expensive premium Apple places on its products.

Only 48m?

As a result, two leading industry analysts cut their forecasts for iPhone and iPad shipments during the forthcoming January-March quarter.

Jefferies analyst Peter Misek now expects Apple to ship just (perhaps the most outlandish use of the word 'just' ever) 48 million iPhones during the period. The previous estimate was 52 million.

UBS Investment Research also cut its 12-month stock price target amid the lowered expectations.

UBS analyst Steven Milunovich said: "Some of our Chinese sources do not expect the iPhone 5 to do as well as the iPhone 4S."

Via Reuters