Indeed, to illustrate that risk playing out, Apple announced on January 2 that it wouldn't be meeting its original financial guidance for the first quarter of fiscal 2019, reducing its revenue guidance to $84 billion from a prior projection of between $89 billion and $93 billion.
Global financial markets felt the shockwaves as Apple shares logged their biggest intra-day percentage fall in six years, sending the company's stock market value to under $700 billion, well below its $1.1 trillion October peak.
North American markets were whipped lower Thursday after Apple's warning about weaker holiday sales particularly in China signalled that trade tariffs could take more a bigger bite out of corporate earnings.
The company had not decreased its quarterly revenue forecast in over 15 years before Wednesday.
Shares of the Cupertino, Calif. -based tech giant slid almost 10 percent on Thursday - wiping out more than $75 billion in market cap and knocking it back to No. 4 among the world's most valuable companies - after it warned of slower-than-expected iPhone sales.
Weakness in Chinese demand is especially painful for Apple and other smartphone makers.
Apple has recognized its pricing in China may be too high, expanding a recent iPhone trade-in promotion from the U.S.to the region at the end of December. Jaguar Land Rover briefly shut a factory in Britain after September sales in China dropped by a half. "As growths in China and Eurozone have been clearly slowing, investor fears that moderating global demand will start to dampen US growth momentum", she added.
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Of course, it is nothing to do with Apple or the fact people don't seem to feel the need to pay over the odds for technology they can buy for less when last year's phone worked fine. "We believe the economic environment in China has been further impacted by rising trade tensions with the United States", he wrote.
Apple's stock price dropped nearly 10 percent Thursday, closing the day at $142.19, the company's biggest single-day loss in six years.
"Don't forget this: Apple makes their product in China", he says.
Apple shares were down 8% early Thursday.
That spells trouble for companies that rely on China's enormous market to boost their global sales. Increasingly high prices could have also played a role.
Both Apple and Bernstein Liebhard have been contacted for comment. "It's going to be tough for Apple to get out of its way here, given the saturation in the smartphone market".
Making high-end iPhones locally may shave a few hundred dollars off pricesin India, where the cheapest XS costs $1,430 and the average annual wage is about $2,000, but making real headway will require Apple to offer a much cheaper product. And revenue from consumption tax was down 72 percent in November from a year ago, Balding said.