Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is feeling heat of competition from all sides now. The one-time unassailable company is starting to look more vulnerable as companies like Nokia Corporation (ADR)(NYSE:NOK) are determined to make inroads in the smartphone segment while Google becomes a potent force in tablets.
Apple shares fell the most on Wednesday in four years on concerns that it will lose market share to Nokia in China and to Google in the tablets segment.
Research firm International Data Corp had said that Apple’s iPads and iPad Mini will lose market share in 2012 to Google's Android-based devices. It said that Apple’s share of the tablet market will slip to 53.8 percent this year from 56.3 percent in 2011, while Google’s portion will advance to 42.7 percent from 39.8 percent.
Apple fell 6.4 percent, the biggest drop since Dec. 17, 2008, to $538.79 at the close in New York. The decline erased $34.9 billion from Apple’s market value, the steepest loss since at least 1988, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The stock is still up by a third this year so far.
Nokia launched its new Lumia 920 in Chine in a tie up with China Mobile, the country's largest wireless carrier. Incidentally Apple does not have a tie-up with China Mobile, though it has forged agreements with Chin Telecom and China Unicom to sell iPhones in the world's largest smartphone market.
Analysts are inclined to call the dip in Apple’s shares to a technical breakdown, after it failed to sustain recent rally.
Consumers are also more likely to experiment with new products in the market compared to the sameness of Apple's devices.
However, the stock is now up over 1% to $545, after falling over 3% earlier in the morning session and hit a low of $518.