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Apple shares tank as supplier warnings fuel concerns about iPhone sales

Analysts believe consumers, particularly in emerging markets such as India, are shunning iPhones for cheaper alternatives as Apple’s signature product becomes pricier.
Apple
Apple shares fell 5% on Monday

Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) saw more than US$40bn wiped off its market value on Monday after profit warnings from three supplies raised concerns about weak iPhone sales.

Lumentum Holdings Inc (LITE.O) -- the main supplier of the Face ID technology in the latest iPhone models – downgraded its sales and profit outlook on Monday due to one of its major customers for laser diodes for 3D sensing reducing shipments.

Screen maker Japan Display Inc cut its full year guidance due to lower smartphone demand while British chipmaker IQE plc (LON:IQE) said it expects a material reduction in its financial performance in the current year.

The warnings sent shares in Apple down 5% on Monday, making it one of the biggest losers on the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

“Many suppliers have lowered numbers because of their unnamed ‘largest customer,’ which is Apple. Apple got cautious in their guidance and it’s hitting their suppliers,” Elazar Capital analyst Chaim Siegel said, according to Reuters.

READ: Apple reportedly tells suppliers to hold off on additional iPhone XR production

Analysts believe consumers, particularly in emerging markets such as India, are shunning iPhones for cheaper alternatives as Apple’s signature product becomes pricier.

They say Apple's reliance on higher prices could also make it vulnerable if there is a slowdown in consumer spending.

Earlier in November, Apple said holiday sales would miss market forecasts due to weakness in emerging markets and foreign exchange headwinds.

Apple sold 46.9 million iPhones in the fourth quarter, missing analyst expectations of 47.5 million iPhones, according to FactSet.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS) was another top faller on the Dow after Malaysian finance minister Lim Guan Eng said the country was seeking a full refund of all the fees it paid to the investment bank for arranging bond deals for state fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

1MDB is the subject of corruption and money-laundering investigations in at least six countries. 

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