After announcing a record quarter, the kicker came when Apple said that it is expecting $7.8 billion of revenue and $1 per share of profit for Q4 08. As a result Apple stock plunges 10% in after hours trading.
This image says it all really:
Now it's likely that these numbers are yet another example of Apple yet again being conservative and under-promising, but this tactic doesn't seem to work any more (the financial climate is too uncertain) and so Apple is being harshly punished after having a strong quarter.
Some other things that might be making investors jittery:
- iPhone production can't keep up with current demand, making a roll-out in more countries seem like a joke.
- Q2, Q3 and Q4 iPod sales seem to have hit a plateau at the 10-11 million mark.
- A product transition "delivering state-of-the-art new products at prices our competitors can’t match" isn't enough for investors to go on.
- The iPhone is no longer the big hit that it once was with investors now that Apple doesn't have a hand in the user's pocket long-term.
- Jobs' health.
Guesses as to what this product transition consists of? It's hard to tell but here are some possibilities (excluding the possibility that it's a MacBook/MacBook Pro speed bump or something like that):
- iTablet - Think a larger version of the iPhone, with multi-touch.
- An ultra-mobile PC - Think MacBook Air, only better.
- Revamped AppleTV that's App Store compatible - Give the AppleTV a Wii Remote-like controller and it's ready to bring Super MonkeyBall to the world ...
That said, when it comes to guessing what Apple will come out with next I feel a bit like Roger Kay, president of Endpoint Technologies:
"So, I'm thinking Mac lineup. Maybe a low-cost consumer offering? Something like Mac mini, but better. A Netbook? High volume, low-cost notebook? I'm not getting a new category that would change the world and produce a five-point negative margin effect. A Wii competitor? A chain of minigolf courses? An Apple-branded casino in Vegas? Beats me."
Ideas? What would you like to see from Apple next?