Apple could be heading for its first profit fall in a decade as growth in smartphone sales slows, production costs rise and competition from Samsung take their toll.
According to analyst data compiled by Bloomberg, Apple’s fiscal net income for the first quarter — due to be announced tomorrow — may show a two percent drop to $12.8 billion, or $13.47 per share.
Analysts have forecast that sales for the first quarter will rise 18 percent to $54.8 billion which will be the slowest growth rate since 2009.
Recent reports have suggested that Apple has scaled back its orders on components for the iPhone 5 and iPad as sales have failed to meet the company’s expectations.
Android device makers Samsung, Huawei and ZTE have been putting more pressure on Apple in recent months with Samsung recently overtaking Apple as the world’s biggest smartphone maker in terms of shipments.
Global sales for Samsung’s Galaxy S smartphones recently topped 100 million, with the latest Galaxy S3 selling more than 40 million units since its launch in May 2012.
In every quarter bar one since 2003, Apple’s profit has jumped more than 10 percent. The company has exceeded analyst estimates for earnings in almost every quarter since 2006 and posted record results for the first quarter of 2012, with a $13.1 billion profit and sales of $46.3 billion.
However, Apple shares have fallen by nearly 30 percent since September, wiping off around $190 billion in market value, as concerns about ebbing demand for the iPhone and iPad grow.