Apple is having a losing streak lately.
During its quarterly earnings report earlier this month, the company offered less than expected guidance for the current holiday quarter and announced that the number of units of its products it ships would no longer be broken down. Wall Street was not happy with the news, and Apple's market valuation fell below $ 1 trillion before the call ended, with the company's share price falling by approximately 8%. It recovered a bit the next day, but rumors that the company's latest smartphone, the iPhone Xr, do not sell as well as expected, have increased Wall Street's fears about Apple, since the price of The company's stock has continued to decline over the course of the year. month.
And this week, the United States Supreme Court will hear a case, Apple v. Pepper, which could threaten to derail one of its strongest business lines.
The company's services business, which includes the commissions it acquires through the sale of applications, as well as the subscriptions and other digital services it offers, has become an important and reliable source of revenue in recent years, eclipsing everyone his other businesses (apart from the iPhone), and growing to the size of a Fortune 100 company in his own right. In the last quarter alone, Apple generated almost $ 10 billion in service revenue.
The class action lawsuit, which has been going on for almost a decade, involves the App Store for mobile devices. Apple charges developers a 30% commission on the applications they want to sell in the App Store, and that fee is generally passed on to the consumer. The App Store is the only way to download applications on an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch for most consumers that will not void your warranty. The Supreme Court is now considering whether users can sue Apple for violating the federal antitrust law, considering that the App Store is effectively a monopoly in the iPhone application market. Apple argues that only developers, who set the prices of their own applications, could present a demand of this type. If the supreme court of EE. UU Decides that the lawsuit can be initiated, Apple could be responsible for the massive damages of the users and, in theory, not be able to charge its commission, and has to allow users to download applications from other places in the future.
Apple's problems can not stop there. The president of the United States, Donald Trump, suggested on November 26 that he is considering a 10% tariff on devices, such as the iPhone and MacBooks, which are made in China. "I mean, I can get to 10% and people could easily handle that," Trump told The Wall Street Journal. "What I advise is for [Apple and other manufacturers] to build factories in the United States and make the product here, and they have many other alternatives. "
The news scared investors, as the price of Apple shares opened today (November 27) about 2% below its close last night. Stocks are now trading at around $ 174, a drop of approximately 25% from their peak in early October. Its market capitalization is now around $ 826 billion, well below its peak of $ 1.1 billion earlier this year.
Trump's comments could help explain why Apple's CEO, Cook, was steeped in western Idaho today with the daughter and adviser to the president, Ivanka Trump, to see how a local school district "uses technology."
However, it is likely that no amount of pleasure trips from school will influence the decision of the Supreme Court, or that consumers will be reluctant to the increasingly high prices of iPhones.