Apple stock falls 1.5% as analyst Kuo says iPhone shipments could fall 15% in 2024

Apple stock falls 1.5% as analyst Kuo says iPhone shipments could fall 15% in 2024

Apple (AAPL) shares took a hit on Tuesday, falling nearly 1.9%, after TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo released a report saying iPhone shipments will decline as much as 15% year over year in 2024. Apple is scheduled to report its first-quarter earnings results after the bell on Thursday.

According to Kuo, who has accurately predicted Apple’s moves in the past, declining iPhone sales in China coupled with the rise of foldable and AI-powered smartphones will pressure iPhone sales throughout the year.

“Apple’s weekly shipments in China have declined by 30% to 40% (year-over-year) in recent weeks, and this downward trend is expected to continue,” Kuo wrote in a post on Medium.

Customers test the newly launched iPhone 15 at Apple's flagship store in Shanghai, China, on September 24, 2023. (Photo by Costfoto/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Customers test the newly launched iPhone 15 at Apple’s flagship store in Shanghai, China, on September 24, 2023. (Costfoto/NurPhoto via Getty Images) (Nour Photo via Getty Images)

“The main reason for the decline is Huawei’s comeback and the fact that foldable phones are gradually becoming the first choice for premium users in the Chinese market.”

Barclays, Paper Sandler and Redburn Atlantic downgraded Apple shares in early January due to concerns about iPhone sales in China. However, Bank of America upgraded Apple shares, citing its Vision Pro headset and generative artificial intelligence as catalysts for future growth.

The downward trend also cost Apple its position as the richest publicly traded company by market capitalization. The company is now worth $2.9 trillion, less than new leader Microsoft, which had a market cap of $3.05 trillion as of Tuesday afternoon.

Apple is currently making some of its biggest changes yet, as the company prepares to make significant revisions to its App Store policies in Europe to comply with the European Union’s Digital Markets Act. The iPhone maker says it will begin opening European consumer devices to third-party app stores and allow game streaming services like Microsoft’s Xbox Cloud Gaming on the devices.

But critics, including Epic CEO Tim Sweeney and Spotify CEO Daniel Ek, say the changes don’t go far enough to satisfy their antitrust concerns.

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The Department of Justice is also reportedly considering whether it should file an antitrust lawsuit against Apple regarding its practices in the App Store, according to Bloomberg.

This all comes as Apple prepares to launch the Vision Pro. An AR/VR headset that Apple refers to as a spatial computer, the Vision Pro is the company’s first new product category since the Apple Watch debuted nearly a decade ago.

The Vision Pro will go on sale on February 2.

Daniel Holley He is the technology editor at Yahoo Finance. He’s been covering the tech industry since 2011. You can follow him on Twitter @Daniel Holly.

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