“Apple Inc. (AAPL) shares declined after the Nikkei newswire reported that the company scaled back production plans for the iPhone because sales have trailed expectations,” Amy Thomson reports for Bloomberg. “The stock fell as much as 4.5 percent to $497 in early U.S. trading.”

“Apple, based in Cupertino, California, reduced its original target to order 65 million iPhone 5 displays this quarter by about half, Nikkei said, citing an unidentified senior executive at a component maker it didn’t name,” Thomson reports. “First-quarter iPhone shipments may decline 25 percent from the previous period, Peter Yu, an analyst at BNP Paribas, said today in a note.”

Read more in the full article here.

Reuters reports, “Apple Inc has cut orders for LCD screens and other parts for the iPhone 5 this quarter due to weak demand, the Nikkei reported on Monday, in a further sign the U.S. firm is losing ground to Asian smartphone rivals.”

MacDailyNews Take: We looked for proof that “weak demand” is the reason in the Reuters report, but found none. Journalism is dead – at Reuters, at the very least.

Reuters reports, “The move, if confirmed, would tally with analysts saying that sales of the new iPhone 5, which was released in September, have not been as strong as anticipated.”

MacDailyNews Take: We only see one analyst, Jefferies analyst Peter Misek, cited in Reuters‘ “report.” Singular, not plural. Actually, as usual, analysts are all over the map with their iPhone unit sales prognostications, ranging from 43 million to 63 million.

Reuters reports, “Apple also cut its orders for memory chips for its new iPhone from its main supplier and competitor Samsung, Reuters reported in September, quoting sources with direct knowledge of the matter.”

MacDailyNews Take: Gee, that must be the proof that iPhone sales are “weak.”

Reuters reports, “The company has been cutting back its orders from Samsung as it seeks to diversify its memory chip supply lines.

MacDailyNews Take: Oh, wait, it’s not.

If you’ve read Reuters for the last few months, you’ll have noticed a pervasive anti-Apple/pro-Samsung theme in many of their Apple-rleated articles. After all, we read every single word and buried lede. Oh look, right on cue, it’s time for the Samsung commercial in the Reuters “report.”

Reuters reports, “Samsung said on Monday that global sales of its flagship Galaxy S smartphones had topped 100 million since the first model was launched in May 2010. The Galaxy S3, launched last May, sold more than 40 million in seven months.”

“The new Galaxy S IV is widely expected to be released within months, and may have an unbreakable screen, full high-definition quality resolution boasting 440 pixels per inch, and a more powerful processor,” Reuters reports. “Samsung has overtaken Apple, helped in part by the popularity of its Galaxy Note II phone-cum-tablet, reinforcing the benefits of offering a wider range of handheld devices at most price points, while Apple rolled out just a single new smartphone last year globally, analysts have said.”

Reuters reports, “Samsung is expected to increase its smartphone sales by more than a third this year, and widen its lead over Apple, according to researcher Strategy Analytics, which has forecast Samsung will sell 290 million smartphones in 2013 versus iPhone sales of 180 million.”

MacDailyNews Take: We’re left with only one question: When did Samsung buy Reuters?

Must have been a private sell-out.

Don’t bother reading the report for news that unit share does not each profit share or that Apple’s share of worldwide smartphones is 71%, roughly 3X that of Samsung’s.

When you heard people talk about Samsung “widening its lead over Apple” and then only quoting market (unit) share, keep in mind that they are idiots and/or liars.

“Market share is mistakenly being used by Wall Street as a proxy for platform value and dominance. According to comScore, as of November 2012, Android is ahead in market share at 52.6% versus Apple at 34.3%. However, Apple generated 71% of the entire mobile industry’s operating profits, according to Canaccord. In any other industry, the analysis would end right here, as investors and analysts would never seriously contend that market share is more important than profit share.” – Bert Danner, January 11, 2013

Full article – Think before You Click™here.

MacDailyNews Take: Wait, Apple paring back orders after the Christmas quarter and ahead of an expected June model refresh? “Let’s make up nonsensical reasons for the cause and hope people fail to use common sense and panic instead!” say the shorts. “This way we can make even easier money!”

The fact is that nobody outside the top levels of Apple Inc. really knows what’s happening inside Apple Inc. Without knowing when the next iPhone is coming or what Apple’s real plans are, attributing shifts in component orders to “slowing demand” or some other concoction is disingenuous, at the least, and criminal, at the most.

Sometimes we think the recent U.S. capital gains tax hikes are causing extra desperation on the fomenters, people who can’t pick winners very well, so they try to rig the game by manufacturing “losers.” You know, the leeches of Wall Street? Now these blood-suckers have to make more money in order to offset their tax burden, so the anti-Apple FUD is rolling out even thicker. Joy.

Perhaps it’s time to severely limit or disallow the ability of investors to generate profits on a declining stock? Logically, wouldn’t that cure the greedy fomenting that plagues Apple Inc. and other successful compnaies? What if the only real reward went to investors who back companies that perform well, rather than creating an obviously high incentive to drive down share prices via whatever means they can get away with and thereby punish excellence?

And, BTW, “iPhone component cuts means weak demand” bearshit is a month old. You’d think they could come up with something new, or not quite as recently overused, wouldn’t you? Desperate times call for desperate measures, we guess.

Ah, well, the market is game. More like a rigged crapshoot right now. Good luck if you’re playing!

MacDailyNews Note: Apple reports earnings after closing bell, right around 4:30pm Eastern, on January 23rd.

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