Apple's shares have dropped below $100 (£68) for the first time in the last five months. This followed reports that suggested a slowing down of shipments of the company's latest iPhone iterations — the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus.
The Redmond-based company's shares fell to $99.87 in Nasdaq trading on 6 January. This marks the lowest level since 24 August 2015 when its shares fell to $92, following a brief crash of the entire stock market. The majority of Apple's revenue comes from iPhone sales and its stock is reported to have fallen close to 19% over the last six months.
Japanese daily Nikkei, recently reported that Apple is expected to cut down by 30% the output of iPhone 6s and 6s Plus in the first quarter of 2016. The company had initially planned to keep the production level the same as its 2014 flagships, the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Production is expected to get back to normal in the second quarter of the year.
Companies that are likely to see a dip in shipment include LCD panel manufacturer Japan Display, Sharp and LG Display, apart from image sensor suppliers such as Sony and electronic parts manufacturers such as TDK, Alps Electric and Kyocera.
Meanwhile, a source with knowledge of the matter revealed that Apple's biggest manufacturing partner Foxconn, will cut down working hours over the Lunar New Year holiday, reported Reuters. This, according to analysts, could be an indication of the saturating iPhone market. Foxconn said it was "in the midst of planning operational schedules for the Lunar New Year holiday."
"We were already conservative about the first quarter. It's not just iPhone slowdown, but all of the Chinese economy", Kylie Huang, analyst at Daiwa-Cathay Capital Markets, Taipei, said in his response to Foxconn's Lunar New Year plan.
Walter Piecyk, an analyst with financial service firm BTIG, said, "I don't think anyone expects growth to accelerate from last year's hyper growth. The only question that remains is whether they will grow at all in 2016."
Analysts further expect Apple's revenue to increase by less than 4% in 2016, as opposed to the 28% reported in the business year that ended in September 2015. "We can see per survey data that this decline in units is not a result of iPhone users switching away from the iPhone, but is simply due to the tough compare of the iPhone 6," said analyst Nehal Chokshi from Maxim Group. "There is really no way that they could have produced the number of incremental users that they did on the iPhone 6 cycle with the iPhone 6S cycle."