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Apple now expects revenue of $84bn (€74bn) for the fiscal quarter running from October through December.

Apple's boss also told investors he believes the company has a bright future in China - but the US-China trade war was a contributing factor to the weaker results.

When compared to the estimates provided by Apple to its investors in November, the revenue amount took a drastic nosedive, while the "other income/(expense)" category went through the roof, reaching approximately $550 million from an initial estimate of $300 million.

The reckoning came in the form of a warning that Apple CEO Tim Cook delivered to the company's shareholders in a letter released after the stock market closed Wednesday.

Then CEO Tim Cook posted a letter on Apple's web site saying that revenue in the last quarter of 2018 would be $84 billion.

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"And market data has shown that the contraction in Greater China's smartphone market has been particularly sharp", he wrote.

Apple shares, which had been halted ahead of the announcement, skidded 7.7 per cent in after-hours trade, dragging the company's market value below US$700 billion.

But Cook specifically said he "would not put China in that category" of countries with troubled growth. "In fact, categories outside of iPhone (Services, Mac, iPad, Wearables/Home/Accessories) combined to grow nearly 19 percent year-over-year", also stated Cook.

Apple blamed slow iPhone sales-especially in China-as well as fewer-than-expected iPhone upgrades for the shortfall. Additionally, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman noted that Cook is slated to address Apple staff about the decline in sales on Thursday - another sign that the company is anxious about these numbers. Boycott Apple iPhones or Face Consequences Says Chinese Companies; Offers To Drive Purchase of Huawei Devices. "Our non-iPhone businesses have less exposure to emerging markets, and the vast majority of Services revenue is related to the size of the installed base, not current period sales". The company said wearables sales grew by nearly 50% over last year's holiday quarter, the Apple Watch and AirPods being especially popular this year.

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