Almost exactly  three months after crossing above the $1 trillion market mark for the first time, disappointing iPhone sales and a lowered outlook have sparked catch down selling in the world’s largest company after it survived October relatively unscathed…



With AAPL shares already tumbling after hours on weak guidance and iPhone sales miss, moments ago the stock was rocked lower when the company said it would stop providing unit sales numbers for iPhone, iPad and Mac.

While CFO Lucas Maestri “explained” on the earnings call that unit sales do not represent clear indication of a performance of the company and are less relevant, investors clearly disagreed and punished the stock, sending it back under the much discussed $1 trillion market cap.

Commenting on the Apple stopping unit sales, analyst Gene Munster said: “I was shocked, but it makes sense. Apple wants investors to focus less on iPhone units, and more on the overall Apple business (including iPhone) as a service. It’s going to take a few quarters for Apple to win investor confidence in this new way of analyzing the Apple story.”

The bigger risk for Apple is that it now relies exclusively on raising prices at a time when the global economy is said to be within 1-2 years of a recession. Meanwhile, if a big part of value is growing the ecosystem and services, the poor unit growth (and implied share loss) should be a harbinger of slowing service growth.

As another analyst notes, “Seems they are making a huge mistake taking ASP up so much.  Sure it is like doing a few lines of blow over the short term.  Feels great.  But can only do it so long.  Really is amazing their only real innovation has been to take up ASP, but some big warning signs underneath what optically looks good over short term.”

And with that, say sayonara to the ‘quatro commas’ club.

Apple’s slide has also erased all of Nasdaq’s surge gains on the day:

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