The expectations for Apple are high because they should be. We are committed to exceed those expectations every day.“ The Tim Cook wrote now at the end of the letter to investors, he gave the financial markets a nasty Surprise at the beginning of the year. The Chairman of the Board of the American electronics group, had to admit that his company can’t be this self-imposed claim at the Moment.

Roland Lindner

economic correspondent in New York.

F. A. Z. Twitter

For the first Time in more than 15 years, Apple has revised its sales forecast downward, drastically. Just for the important Christmas quarter, the otherwise so spoiled by success and the group now represents a decline in sales in the view, instead of up to 93 billion dollars, only $ 84 billion are expected. The reaction of the stock market was harsh, the share price fell on Thursday temporarily by almost 9 percent. Several analysts revised their price targets downwards. “This is a dark day for Apple,” said Dan Ives of the investment company Wedbush Securities.

the Cook is in Erklärungsnot, as much as probably never before, since his inauguration as Chairman of the Board more than seven years ago. The Apple chief relented in his letter, the view especially on lower iPhone sales in China, one of the most important markets for his company. The economic weakness, and the trade conflict with the United States proves to be an additional burden.

high-price strategy from a private drive

during the quarter, less and less people in the Chinese Apple stores had come. The General slowdown in China is an observer, nothing New that Apple gets to feel them so painfully, surprised. Because even two months ago, Cook had hit quite a different sound. He said even at the time of a slowdown in some emerging markets, took on China, but explicitly. Here the business was “very strong”.

The difficulties are not confined, however, to China. As Cook wrote, the business has developed with the iPhone in some industrial countries as well as hoped. The number of “Upgrades”, so the sales of the new iPhones, which allow customers to replace older models, was lower than previously seen. Cook led the way as a possible justification for a number of price factors. For example, that there is in the purchase of Smartphones, fewer subsidies from mobile operators than in the past, or that many customers to replace their battery, instead of buying a new device. Also, currency may have played increases due to price according to his words, a role.

speak That the Apple boss about the price sensitivity of its customers, is noteworthy, finally, their willingness-to-pay was always above average. What he left unmentioned is the fact that Apple is moving of its own accord more and more a high-price strategy for iPhone. For example, with the super-expensive models like the iPhone X or iPhone XS. The current top model iPhone XS Max in its most expensive variant in Germany 1649 Euro. Analyst Andy Hargreaves of Keybanc Capital Markets sees “aggressive price increases and limited functional differentiation” as the key reason why customers keep old iPhones longer.

A case of crisis?

The sales warning raises the question of whether Apple has gone with its prices too far, especially in a time in which the Smartphone market is already Saturation. And it underlines once more how dependent the group is on the iPhone. More than 60 percent of sales are still on this device that has brought Apple under cook’s legendary predecessor Steve Jobs. In view of the recent weakening skeptics are likely to be confirmed to see that my Cook had lived since his departure, especially of the accomplishments of the Jobs-Era, and similar innovations are missing.