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Is today the day Apple’s stock drops below $500 a share?

AP/Matt Dunham
Weak demand suggests the iPhone is losing its appeal.
By Christopher Mims
GermanyPublished Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

Apple’s stock is currently down 5% in trading on German markets, and opening bid and ask prices on NASDAQ are already at around $500. The reason appears to be a WSJ report that Apple’s orders for components for the iPhone 5 for the January through March quarter of 2013 are half what the company had originally planned, reflecting weaker-than-expected demand for the phone.

This news comes amid a wider trend in Apple’s loss of market share to competitors with phones running Google’s Android operating system, primarily Samsung. In the third quarter of 2012, Apple shipped 14.6% of smartphones worldwide, while Samsung shipped 31.3%. Compare that to Apple’s peak, in 2011, when it shipped 23% of the world’s smartphones.

Last week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas highlighted another of Apple’s weaknesses: consumers are apparently no longer content with the dimensions of Apple’s mobile products, and are moving toward a variety of larger phones offered by a wide range of competitors. This year’s breakout hit, for example, was the phablet, a device Apple doesn’t even make. The high price of Apple’s iPhone may also be playing a role, especially in China and emerging markets, where smartphones with a wider range of capabilities are available for one-half or one-third the price of an iPhone 5.

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