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Apple to see first profit dip in a decade: analysts

Stuttering launches, slowing smartphone market, Samsung cited as factors

Apple is expected to see an 18% dip in net quarterly income.
Apple is expected to see an 18% dip in net quarterly income.

Apple Inc is expected to see quarterly profits take a dive for the first time since 2003, largely due to a saturated smartphone market, troublesome product launches and competition from current global smartphone leader Samsung Electronics, Bloomberg reported.

Fourteen analysts have downsized their forecasts for the Cupertino-based iPhone maker as market-close figures revealed Apple stock to be consistently sliding from its September 2012 high.

A financial report due to be released tomorrow is expected to show Apple's fiscal second-quarter net income to have dipped by 18% to $9.53bn, or $10.02 a share, while revenue is forecast to show a rise of 8% to $42.4bn, the company's slowest growth rate since 2009.

"The market is in show-me mode for Apple," said Oracle Investment Research analyst Laurence Balter. "The market needs to see some evidence that the future looks bright because that candle is flickering."

Apple's perceived lack of innovation since the release of the first iPhone and iPad, initially went unpunished by the market. The peak in its share price coincided with the launch of the iPhone 5, which suffered from a number of launch faults, mostly in the refreshed iOS 6.

The key for the iMaker in gaining back ground lost to South Korean rival Samsung, is another standard-setting product - a fact that may have driven Apple to pursue its rumoured iWatch project.

In the meantime, analysts suspect Apple may have to come up with a token placation for investors, such as increased dividends or share buybacks.