Investors give Apple the cold shoulder

Apple stock plunges 10% in after hours trading following record quarter.

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:

Investors give Apple the cold shoulder

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?

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