Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook on Wednesday announced the first cut in the company's revenue outlook in almost two decades, and analysts were quick to slash price targets for the company that just a little while ago was, well, the apple of its investors' eyes. The stock plunged in pre-market trade, and took down suppliers in the US, Europe and Asia as collateral damage. Cook in a letter to investors said that while the company expected challenges, “we did not foresee the magnitude of the economic deceleration, particularly in Greater China”.
While there is surely a certain fatigue setting in around the company's bread-and-butter iPhones, Cook pinned much of the blame for the shortfall on “rising trade tensions” between the US and China. Apple is the latest to be hit by the slowdown in China, and joins a roll-call that includes the likes of FedEx, Starbucks and Tiffany's. Apple's woes will be particularly hard to stomach for US president Donald Trump as it is the latest evidence that the trade war between the two largest economies of the world is backfiring on US firms.