Following a holiday season that saw it both breaking profit records and falling short of sales expectations, and its first year-on-year quarterly revenue dip in over a decade, Apple needs a box-office winner more than ever, and it needs it soon.
Unfortunately, the iPhone SE is probably not it, while the Apple Watch 2 and iPhone 7/7 Plus duo still require time before entering the rocky picture. But at least one very high-profile investor looks to have lost his patience already, capitalizing on his company stock and earning a cool $2 billion paycheck amid worries Cupertino is going down.
Further down than the current $95 or so share price, that is, which dropped 6 percent on the day of Tim Cook’s latest earnings call, plus 3 extra percentage points on Thursday.
Granted, Carl Icahn has been known to make the occasional business faux pas. And he’s far from certain of Apple’s shaky financial future, diplomatically stating it’s a “great company” he’s backing out of, and its CEO is “doing a great job.”
The thing that concerns the world’s 43rd richest person is China’s “attitude” towards the most valuable brand, and how the country’s government could always “come in and make it very difficult for Apple to sell there.”
Icahn admits he’s not “the great expert on China”, which only bothers him more, but local smartphone demand is stagnating, as literally everywhere else, and OEMs like Huawei, Xiaomi or Meizu are bigger and bigger threats for Apple’s business around those parts.