Apple had to restate guidance for Q1 2018. iPhone sales are down. Especially in China. It'll still be the company's second biggest quarter ever. But it will be billions lower than initially expected. But the iPhone story, which many have fixated on, might be hiding a potentially bigger problem.
John Gruber, writing for Daring Fireball:
I think what has Cook spooked is not the drop in iPhone sales, but the fact that the iPhone sales drop in China might be a symptom of a bigger problem. An effect, not the cause. Apple has gotten crazily good at predicting everything about their financials. It's almost freaky how accurate they've been for years. But they got something very wrong last quarter. Again, it was a slight year-over-year decline, but it was the second-best quarter in history. iPhone sales were disappointing compared to expectations, but weren't bad in the abstract. What was bad was Apple's guidance. A $7 billion miss is bad, but Apple not foreseeing a $7 billion miss is a red flag. I think they're evaluating deeper plans just in case it was more than just one thing in one quarter. No one wants to say the word, but I think it's what has Cook spooked.
Though Apple's results have gotten far more attention, it looks like other big manufacturers, from Korea to China itself, are going to be hit as hard or harder this quarter.
Concentrate on the finger and you miss all the heavenly glory. Concentrate on the iPhone and you miss all the rest of the market.
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