- President Donald Trump downplayed Apple’s recent announcement that revenue was weaker than expected for the holiday quarter.
- Trump also seemed to blame Apple’s revenue shortfall on the iPhone makers decision to manufacture their products in China.
- But according to Apple CEO Tim Cook, the real reason was a slowdown in Chinese retails sales that he blamed in part by Trump’s trade war with Beijing.
- Trump also claimed Apple’s stock is up “hundreds of per cent since I’m president.” It’s actually only up around 30% since the 2016 election.
President Donald Trump on Friday downplayed Apple’s recent revenue woes during a press conference at the White House.
When asked about the tech giant’s shock announcement that revenue for the holiday quarter came in lower than expected, Trump pointed to Apple’s stock price increase since the 2016 election as evidence that the company is doing just fine.
“They have gone up a lot, they have gone up hundreds of per cent since I’m president,” Trump said. “Apple was at a number that was incredible and they’re going to be fine. Apple is a great company.”
Trump also seemed to suggest that the reason for Apple’s recent misstep was the location of their manufacturing plants.
“Don’t forget this Apple makes their product in China,” Trump said. “I told Tim Cook, who is a friend of mine, who I like a lot: ‘Make your product in the United States, build those big, beautiful plants that go on for miles it seems, build those plants in the United States.'”
But Apple said its revenue miss in China was not due to the production side, but rather the sales side, since Chinese consumers are not buying enough iPhones.
According to a letter from Cook to shareholders on Wednesday, the company expects to report revenue of $US84 billion for their first fiscal quarter, which ended in December. The original projection for the quarter was between $US89 billion and $US93 billion.
In the letter, Cook blamed a variety of factors for the revenue shortfall, but placed a significant amount of the responsibility on the recent economic slowdown in China. According to the Apple CEO, the slowdown was exacerbated by Trump’s trade war with Beijing.
“And what I believe to be the case is the trade tensions between the United States and China put additional pressure on their economy,” Cook said in an interview with CNBC. “So we saw as the quarter went on things like traffic in our retail stores, traffic in our channel partner stores, the reports of the smartphone industry contracting, particularly bad in November. I haven’t seen a December number yet, but I’d bet it would not be good either.”
The weakness also made Trump’s claim false that Apple has gained “hundreds of per cent” since the election.
Apple’s share price did increase by roughly 110% from the day after the 2016 election to its all-time high on October 3. But the stock has tumbled since then and the company has now gained only 28% between November 8, 2016 and Thursday’s closing price.
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