Apple’s trillion-dollar status value lost on disappointing sales figures

Apple lost its status as the world’s only trillion-dollar public company on Thursday night as shares slumped following disappointing results.

The iPhone maker said that it would no longer reveal how many iPhones, iPads and Macs it sells each quarter, claiming the figure was no longer relevant to investors.

The announcement, combined with an underwhelming forecast for the crucial Christmas quarter, sent shares falling by more than 7pc in after-hours trading, knocking over $70bn (£54bn) off its value. If maintained, the drop means Apple’s value will fall below the trillion-dollar mark for the first time since it reached the milestone in August.

The news adds to a malaise that has hit technology shares in recent weeks. Amazon’s value surpassed a trillion dollars just weeks after Apple but has also fallen below the mark, while shares in other Silicon Valley giants have fallen.

Apple’s fall came despite it posting record profits and sales after it convinced consumers to buy more-expensive versions of the iPhone in the three months to the end of September.

But it said it expected revenue of between $89bn and $93bn in the final three months of 2018, traditionally the company’s most profitable selling season. Wall Street had priced in revenues of $93bn, with the most bullish saying the company could hit close to $100bn of sales.

In the three months to the end of September, it sold 46.9m iPhones, flat on the same period last year and below what analysts had expected. However, a huge increase in the price of each phone meant that iPhone revenues increased by 29pc. On average, consumers now pay $793 for each iPhone, up from $618 a year ago.

Apple has successfully pushed its users into paying more for newer versions of its iPhone by adding new features and bigger screen sizes, even as sales growth has stalled.

Revenues in the quarter increased by 20pc to $62.9bn, while profits were up 32pc to $14.1bn. Tim Cook, Apple's chief executive, said sales had been disappointing in some emerging markets such as India, Turkey and Brazil.

Apple sold fewer Mac computers and iPads than a year ago, but said revenues from its software division had increased by 17pc. This week, the company unveiled new iPad and MacBook computers, in an attempt to arrest declining sales of both.

Apple said it would continue to say how much revenue it makes from each of its product lines, which it claimed was a more relevant figure than unit sales. The company has reported how many of its major products it sells for over 20 years, well before the iPhone or even the iPod were invented.

By James Titcomb