Analyst Beats Down Apple; Slow iPhone Sales Ahead

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Is Apple suddenly feeling its mortality in this deep recessionary climate?

Initially, the Apple glow seemed enough to surpass consumer fears, though the magic started to ebb during the Christmas quarter.  Instead of breakneck sales, the iPhone dipped quarter-to-quarter to 4.4 million, down from 6.9 million during the third calendar period. Additionally, iPod sales moved upward 3 percent to 22.7 million, but fell on a revenue basis.

And the future?  One analyst is seeing continued softness ahead.  On Friday, JP Morgan analyst Mark Moskowitz lowered his price target on AAPL from $102 to $100, citing lowered projections on iPhones and Macs.  Instead of a current-quarter sales estimate of 3.8 million iPhones sold, Moskowitz dialed things down to 3.4 million.

Similarly, the Mac projection slipped to 2.19 million, down from 2.39 million previously.  “Inputs from our primary research contacts suggest that Mac and iPhone volumes had been trending below our prior expectations,” Moskowitz noted.  During the trading day on Friday, shares initially took a 5.3 percent hit, before finishing down 3.98 percent to $85.30.

Story by analyst Alexandra Osorio.