MacWorld 2008: Apple Shares Tumble On Announcements

A case of impossible standards as the city voices its disapproval.

Is expectation losing touch with reality?

Despite a fair amount of cheer last night as Steve Jobs rolled out the long awaited iTunes Movie Service, updated the iPhone, iPod touch and overhauled Apple TV as well as finally unveiling its much anticipated ultra portable notebook, not everyone was impressed.

Apple US share prices crashed yesterday on the back of the announcements, falling from nearly $180 to $165 – a drop of almost 10 per cent – before rallying to $169 by the end of trading. It had been predicted Apple share prices could top $200.

The reasons for the negative reaction have yet to spill out, but I suspect Jobs’ brave admittance that Apple TV had ‘failed’ hit hard, along with its lower than predicted movies sales figures. Even US iPhone shipments were expected to be closer to 5m rather than the (still hugely impressive) 4m declared. European iPhone sales were also buried, despite some optimistic thought that Apple had gagged outlets because it wanted to surprise pessimists with better than expected figures.

From a technical standpoint there were also no new hardware upgrades to the iPhone or iPod touch – with many expecting capacity boosts as a minimum to keep up with the 32GB players recently announced by Creative and SanDisk. Furthermore, Apple’s remarkable MacBook Air has sparked warranty concerns with its sealed case design and inability to upgrade after purchase.

From a personal perspective, it can equally be said MacWorld 2008 simply wasn’t quite as impressive as last year’s show. Even for Apple, the iPhone is difficult to top.

On the bright side, stock markets are traditionally more skittish than your average traumatised kitten so expect further rallying over the next few weeks. There is also a case to be made that Apple stock has been overvalued for some time and this is merely a step back to reality.

Then again we’ll see a 16GB, 3G iPhone before the end of the year and then it’ll all go nuts once more…

Yahoo Apple Inc Stock Tracking

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