Apple (AAPL) stock drops after lowered estimates for iPhone XR sales

Apple Inc. iPhone XR smartphones sit on display at a Soft Bank Group Corp. store in Tokyo Japan on Friday Nov. 2 2018.        , Bloomberg

Apple Inc. iPhone XR smartphones sit on display at a Soft Bank Group Corp. store in Tokyo Japan on Friday Nov. 2 2018. , Bloomberg

Lumentum, which builds laser sensors for the iPhone XR's Face ID system, slashed its financial outlook Monday, raising fresh alarm bells for the success of Apple's latest generation of smartphones across the board.

Widely respected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo writes that sales of Apple's new iPhone XR are slightly below expectations, corroborating a handful of previous reports we've seen over the past few days.

"We think investors should consider Lumentum's updated guide as reflecting as much as a 30% cut in Apple orders", Wells Fargo analyst Aaron Rakers said in a note to clients.

"Apple could have accumulated too much Lumentum inventory, and needs to work it off, in which case the unit shortfall is less, although it is still indicative of weak iPhone sales".

The firm hoped the iPhone XR would persuade owners of older iPhones to switch to the newer model, which costs $749 (£749) - a sizable discount from the $999 iPhone XS and the $1099 XS Max. He predicts shipments in the 47-52 million range, compared to 52 million sold in the first quarter of 2018.

Another data point potentially contributing to Apple's slide: Lumentum, a key supplier for parts that power facial recognition systems, said a large customer had cut its orders by 30% - and Apple is its top customer.

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According to StreetAccount, a couple of securities firms are fine-tuning their thoughts on what is going on now with the Apple iPhone.

Apple tried to talk up the amount of cash it was making from services although bankers are not that happy with what Jobs' Mob has done about Apple Pay and are making their displeasure known.

"I believe the perception that Apple is entering a slow-to-growth mode outweighs the reported EPS metrics, and justifies a discount to the market's valuation".

Speculation from news organizations like Reuters are reporting that the company to which Lumentum is referring to is Apple. Jobs, for all his faults, did manage to save Apple with a couple of products which worked - the iPod and iPhone - but even he was running out of ideas before the end (iPads anyone?) and the issue of what to do next was never resolved.

The move led analysts to question the company's business and its share price has since dropped 12.6%.

Sacconaghi cited Apple executive Lisa Jackson, who said in September that the company needed to "design products to last as long as possible".

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