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Analysts worry that the price of the iPhone 5C is too high for emerging markets like China

Apple's big iPhone event Tuesday failed to impress analysts, and they made that point clear with four major downgrades.

JPMorgan Chase & Co., Bank of America Corp., UBS AG, and Credit Suisse Group AG all downgraded Apple after the reveal of its iPhone 5C and 5S on Tuesday. This sent Apple's shares down as much as 5 percent in premarket trading Wednesday morning.

A few specifics are Credit Suisse Group AG's downgrade from "Outperform" to "Neutral" and Bank of America's downgrade to "Neutral" from "Buy." 

According to the four major financial firms, the 5C wasn't priced low enough to grab its intended audience (which would be emerging markets). For instance, in China (which is one of the targeted markets), the 5C will sell for $730 because the country doesn't have subsidized phones. 

One good note on the China front, though, is that Chinese regulators gave the final required license for the iPhone to work on China Mobile Ltd's mobile network. This is a great new opportunity for Apple to expand its number of users, but the question still remains: will Chinese users want to pay that much for the iPhone?

In addition to 5C worries, analysts believe the 5S' specs don't seem to match those of competitors like Samsung in the high-end market.  

iPhone 5C

Analyst Kulbinder Garcha, who has a price target of $525 a share for Apple, predicts that Apple’s smartphone market share will drop to 15.5 percent this year and 13.1 percent next year. This is a far fall from 2012's 18.1 percent market share. 

Despite this hard hit from four major financial companies, Apple did at least see a few increases in price targets after the 5C/5S announcements. For instance, Nomura analyst Stuart Jeffrey increased his price target for the stock from $420 a share to $480, and Canaccord Genuity analysts increased their price target from $530 to $550 a share.

Apple's stock has taken a beating over the last year since it's high of $705 in September 2012. It fell as low as $398.05 a share back in June of this year due to concerns regarding whether Apple still had the ability to innovate like it did in the days of the 2007 iPhone release and the 2010 iPad release. Since the death of former Apple CEO Steve Jobs, Apple has only released new versions of the iPhone and iPad, and hasn't created any new, revolutionary products. 

Apple's stock is sitting around $467 as of noon today. 

Sources: Google Finance, ValueWalk, The Wall Street Journal

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RE: What did they expect?
By artemicion on 9/11/2013 6:08:39 PM , Rating: 3
Having gotten used to the "back" and "menu" buttons on my Note 2, I personally wish IOS devices had the same buttons, but I can't say Apple's design decision was a bad call.

Anecdotally, I know lots of less tech-savy Android owners who just don't "get" the "back" and "menu" buttons on their phones. I don't understand why, but for some reason it is just not intuitive for some people to grasp the fact that the "back" and "menu" buttons on their Android phones are universal, meaning that they have fairly predictably functionality regardless of what app you are in.

Also, even though the extra buttons on Androids for "back" and "menu" have the potential to create a more efficient experience on Android devices, it also leaves room for App developers to seriously F up the design of their apps. I have a bunch of terribly designed Android apps on my phone that have quirky implementation of the "back" and "menu" buttons. Navigating the ESPN Fantasy Football app is a pain on Android because it relies on unintuitive "back" button navigation/behavior (you never really know when you're at the top level menu, so a number of times i've hit "back" to try to get somewhere, only to get kicked out to the home screen). It also doesn't use the "menu" button at all, which is stupid. The IOS version of the same app doesn't have that problem because the navigation is done on screen.

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