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Apple’s share price has fallen by 20% over the course of 2013, as tough markets and a lack of new products have made forward-looking projections less optimistic than in the past. Analysts have become a little less bullish as they have reduced the ‘blue sky’ valuation of the company. Maintaining the phenomenal growth that the company has previously enjoyed was always going to be a tough ask.
The key aspect that has seen the profits drift by 22% year-on-year has been the lower price of the average product, which has gone from $608 down to $581. Over time this has seen the profit margin reduce from over 42% to less than 37%. In an effort to combat these reducing margins the firm has managed to sell more units – 31.2 million compared to last year’s 26 million.
The popularity of electronic gadgets does tend to be cyclical and the Apple brand’s popularity has now come under pressure with the re-emergence of Samsung now leading the way in smart phone sales. In the fast-paced world of technology, standing is really going backwards, and many of the unique technological features that the firm had have seen the patents end, and competing firms are improving the standard of their goods.
All of this does not mean the end of the firm; however it does mean the end of some of the outrageous growth expectations that had been placed on it.