Apple shares are experiencing a decline in value following a somber forecast for iPhone sales in 2024. The influential analyst, Ming-Chi Kuo of TF International Securities based in Taiwan, has published a report revealing Apple's supply chain projections. According to Kuo, the company anticipates shipping approximately 200 million iPhones this year, reflecting a 15% decrease from the previous year. He goes on to claim that Apple may face the most significant decrease among major global phone brands in 2024.

As a result of this news, Apple shares have dropped by 2%, currently trading at $187.94. In contrast, the S&P 500 index has experienced only a slight decline.

Kuo attributes the declining market share of iPhones in China to fierce competition, with Huawei being a dominant player. Furthermore, Apple has yet to enter the emerging market for foldable phones, which are gaining popularity in China among high-end users. Competitors such as Samsung Electronics, Xiaomi, and Alphabet's Google have made considerable progress in this niche. Additionally, Samsung has surpassed Apple in terms of AI-focused phones with its latest Galaxy S24 line, featuring features like real-time language translation for voice calls and messages.

Apple's weekly shipments in China have witnessed a year-over-year decline of 30-40% in recent weeks, and Kuo predicts this trend will persist. Huawei's resurgence and the growing preference for foldable phones are cited as major reasons for this decline.

Although Apple has not responded to inquiries for comment thus far, Kuo offers further insights. He reveals that the upcoming iPhone16, set to launch later this year, will not feature any significant design changes. Kuo expects Apple to introduce a more AI-centric design no earlier than 2025. However, he warns that the absence of noteworthy updates may negatively impact iPhone sales momentum and ecosystem growth.

Apple is scheduled to announce its financial results for the December quarter shortly after the close of trading on Thursday. The company is likely to provide further details regarding its March-quarter financial outlook during the post-earnings conference call.

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