Apple issued a rare revision to its earnings guidance earlier this week, cautioning investors that the company is anticipating to generate a few billion dollars less in revenue than initially expected. Predictably, shares of Apple absolutely tanked as a result and are now trading at a level we haven’t seen since mid-2017.
In a letter to investors on the topic, Apple CEO Tim Cook squarely laid all the blame on a lower number of iPhone sales for the quarter. Specifically, Cook said that poor iPhone sales in China was the main reason behind Apple’s revised guidance.
“In fact, most of our revenue shortfall to our guidance, and over 100 percent of our year-over-year worldwide revenue decline, occurred in Greater China across iPhone, Mac and iPad,” Cook said in the letter.
With Apple’s slumping stock taking a lot of the market down with it, the White House seemingly felt compelled to chime in on the matter. Earlier today, Trump advisor Larry Kudlow — who serves as the Director of the National Economic Council — made an absolutely baseless statement claiming that China stole proprietary Apple technology.
With no evidence or context provided whatsoever, it appears that Kudlow is trying to deflect any blame for Apple’s poor stock performance away from Trump and onto China.
“I don’t want to surmise too much here, but Apple technology may have been picked off by China and now China is becoming very competitive with Apple,” Kudlow sald earlier today in remarks picked up by CNBC. “You’ve got to have rule of law. There are some indications from China that they’re looking at that, but we don’t know that yet. There’s no enforcement; there’s nothing concrete.”
It’s downright embarrassing to see someone of Kudlow’s stature make such a bold statement with absolutely no foundation of support whatsoever. Then again, with the political environment being what it is today, we can’t realistically say that it’s all that surprising.