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Apple suffers largest share price drop in four years

Apple share prices yesterday endured their biggest single-day loss since 17 December, 2008, with a drop of 6 per cent. The industry giant has lost $35 billion (£22 billion) of its market value in a decline ascribed to the forecasted loss of market share to Android and a drop in its Chinese user base.

A recent report from influential research firm IDC predicted that Android powered tablets will have a market share of 42.7 per cent by the end of the year, which is growth from its recorded 39.8 per cent in 2011. Conversely the proliferation of iOS devices is expected to drop by 2.5 per cent to 53.8 per cent. Furthermore, the report suggested that Apple’s tablet share will fall under 50 per cent by 2016.

This news has seemingly further spooked investors, as Apple’s share value has been in decline since September under increased competition in the mobile device space.

Another contributing factor is the Cupertino-homed firm’s recent decline in key market, China. Apple’s third quarter ranking in the country's smartphone listings fell two spots below its previous position to sixth place. China has shown a persistent bias towards domestic brands making it difficult for Apple to gain a foothold in a market that is set to become the world’s largest by the end of the year.

More troublesome still, is Nokia’s recently announced deal with China Mobile, the world’s largest mobile network provider, to sell the jointly produced Lumia 920T. This has not only buoyed the fiscal prowess of Apple’s Finnish rival, but that of the Windows Phone 8 platform too, casting further doubts on its future position as a global market leader.