Slow sales take shine off Apple's results

While Apple Computer expects to report its first loss in three years, the Australian market should be exempt from any major problems, according to an IDC analyst.

"The Australian market is independent of the US market; however [Apple's] market here is a little soft as a lot of consumers have already spent their money this year on other things, like the Olympics," said Logan Ringland, senior analyst, computing hardware.

Apple said revenues and earnings for the quarter ending December 30 2000, would be "substantially below expectations" due to slower than expected sales in October and November.

The company said it expects to report a net loss, excluding investment gains, of between $US225 million and $US250 million on revenue of around $US1 billion when actual results are announced on January 17 2001.

Apple Australia, however, will not release forecast and actual figures for the region, according to a company spokesperson.

The revenue shortfall, a US spokesperson said, was related to lower than expected channel sales worldwide, while the net loss was related to cancellation charges for components.

Apple's chief financial officer, Fred Anderson, said: "In light of the lower results anticipated for the December quarter, we now expect revenues for fiscal 2001 to be in the $US6 to $US6.5 billion range."

Ringland said consecutive disappointing results in the fourth quarter of 2000 and the first of 2001 will not "spell the end" of Apple.

"Apple has done pretty well to survive; it has an independent operating system and a loyal customer base. It is still one of the, if not the, most innovative companies in the market. But I think its heyday is definitely over."

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