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Apple Smashed As iPad, iPhone + Share Value Slump

By David Richards | Saturday | 02/02/2013

COMMENT: Arrogant Apple is slowly being reeled in and investors are now feeling the pain after putting their trust in a Company that, for a short period of time, thought they were invincible.

On Friday, new sales research showed not only is Apple's share of the smartphone market falling, but the Company, who does not believe in local press briefings and arrogantly flicks journalists off with a no comment, even on matters relating to quality issues, is now losing share in the tablet market.

Since peaking at US$705.07 on Sept. 21 2012, Apple shares have fallen 36% to close at $453.62, erasing more than $236 billion in market value. This has left investors reeling.

Massive competition from Samsung has smashed Apple who is now desperate for a big new product.

In Australia, the Company, whose attitude with retailers when it came to margin discussions was "take it or leave it," now has to negotiate to hold onto premium floor space and their once miniscule margins.

Companies like Telstra are rubbing their hands with glee.

Four years ago Telstra and Apple were at loggerheads over margins. Telstra who was forced to range the iPhone because of popular demand, were selling the device at significantly lower margins than most other brands of smartphones.

Now Telstra, Optus and Vodafone see Samsung as the new traffic generator. 

At the new JB Hi Fi store in North Sydney, it is Samsung and their range of tablets, smartphones and cameras that take pride of place at the front entrance to the store. Apple is relegated to a table behind the flash new Samsung merchandiser.

While still the leader in fourth-quarter shipments, Apple lost its majority share in the last quarter which was a peak quarter due to the holiday period.

While Apple still has 43.6 percent of the tablet market, IDC said, with a record 22.9 million shipments of iPads and iPad Minis, their share has fallen from 51.7 percent a year earlier.

Samsung now has 15.1 percent of the market, selling 7.9 million units. A year earlier, the Korean company's share was only 7.3 percent.

Asus came in fourth, with 5.8 percent share on 3.1 million shipped tablets, a solid improvement over its year-earlier 2 percent share on 600,000 units.

Other vendors had 22.1 percent of the market, shipping 11.6 million tablets and a solid gain above the 18.4 percent share with 5.5 million tablets in the fourth quarter of 2011.

"We expected a very strong fourth quarter, and the market didn't disappoint," Tom Mainelli, IDC research director for tablets, said.

On Friday as the tablet news hit Apple share value as it fell $2.81 to $452.68. They've lost 15 percent so far this year.

Frank Sansone, a retired US college professor bought 40 Apple shares during the first half of last year as its stock price breached $700 in September. As Apple's stock dropped, he sold most of the shares in November and December, locking in losses of about $2,800.

"I left it alone, and it turned out to be a bigger mistake than I ever expected," he told the Wall Street Journal.

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