Apple's 4Q results disappoint amid tech jitters

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It's a move that shocked analysts and only added to jitters around a mixed earnings report.

"Time for investors to adjust to the new disclosures", analysts from the brokerage said.

Signaling that its the era of unit sales growth has come to an end, Apple this week said that it would be much less transparent about device sales. Analysts were looking for 48.4 million iPhone units in the quarter, and an average selling price of $729.

Apple sold 46.9m iPhones in the quarter, generating sales of $37.2bn, but eyebrows have been raised by escalating price tags which are stretching the wallets of even the most devoted Apple fans. In October 2017, those divisions were wrapped into a category called Infrastructure Platforms, in part to emphasize the company's shift toward software and networking services. The iPhone XS costs £999 while the larger-screened XS Max is £1,099.

On Tuesday, Mr Cook unveiled a new iPad Pro and MacBook Air as Apple completed a refresh of its major product lines for the year.

But Cook stressed that Apple was happy with its performance in China, where revenue grew 16 percent to $11.4 billion, the fifth quarter in a row the company has had double-digit growth in the region. "It doesn't matter a lot how many units there are in terms of the overall value of what's in the cart".

For as long as anyone can remember, every three months, Apple has told the world how many iPhone, iPads and Mac computers it has sold.

While Zhang and Mohan sit on the sidelines waiting for the stock to reset itself, most analysts on Wall Street anchor a bullish perspective on the tech giant, as TipRanks analytics showcase AAPL as a Buy.

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"Apple might not think it's helpful to report unit data for its products, but we do", BTIG analysts wrote in a research note.

It's true that Apple's decision to no longer break out iPhone sales will make it more hard to parse that portion of the business, which might make investors nervous.

Apple's cautious forecast could accelerate investor fears that have in turn erased stock market gains for much of the year.

That leaves its existing slate of hardware products. Will people pay $2,000 for an iPhone?

"Q4 revenue was up 29 per cent over previous year, an increase of over $8 billion to a new September quarter record fuelled by continued momentum for iPhone 8, 8 Plus and X, and the very successful launch of iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max", Cook added.

Just two days earlier, the Apple CEO looked to be thoroughly enjoying himself on stage at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, introducing a bevy of hot new products and giving Lana Del Rey a big hug. But, he admits it could take a year for investors to embrace it.

The Apple iPhone 7 and AirPods are displayed during an Apple media event in San Francisco, California, US September 7, 2016.

At some point Apple will need to figure out what will replace the iPhone, or its growth engine could stall out.

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