Apple is grappling with its worst-ever start to a year, as investors express growing concerns over weak iPhone demand and an imminent federal antitrust lawsuit. The Cupertino-based tech giant’s market value has witnessed a staggering decline of $177 billion since the beginning of 2024, setting a disconcerting tone for the year ahead.
According to a report by NY Post, Apple shares plummeted by more than 6% during the opening week of the year, marking the most significant drop in a company’s market capitalization over the same period. This downturn has put Apple at risk of losing its title as the world’s most valuable company, with its market cap currently standing at $2.85 trillion, closely trailed by Microsoft at $2.75 trillion.
The ominous clouds over Apple intensified with revelations that the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) is allegedly in the “late stages” of preparing a massive antitrust lawsuit against the tech behemoth. The investigation is focused on determining whether Apple has engaged in anti-competitive practices, leveraging its hardware and software products to maintain the iPhone’s dominance in the market.
Analysts suggest that a DOJ antitrust lawsuit could further exacerbate the myriad challenges confronting Apple, ranging from sluggish iPhone sales to patent issues with its Watch. Anurag Rana, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, noted that the lawsuit could potentially undermine Apple’s business model, which hinges on the tight integration of its devices and services.
“The suit could attack Apple’s business model of tightly integrating its devices and services,” warned Rana, highlighting the vulnerability of the company’s unique approach to product integration.
This recent turmoil has contributed to the tech giant’s valuation nosedive, sparking concerns among investors about the company’s ability to navigate through the mounting challenges. Apple shares did show a slight recovery, rising approximately 1% in early trading on Monday, but the uncertainty surrounding the impending antitrust lawsuit continues to cast a shadow over the company’s future.
Source: NY Post