Apple customers

Is the love affair with Apple over for investors? Some seem to think so, even despite the iPad Mini hype. Since September, when Apple shares peaked, the prices have fallen 20 percent — from $700 to $547 per share.

This apparently isn’t a matter of popularity, but supply and demand. It’s true that the iPad Mini is the belle of the ball right now, but newly launched devices can get flummoxed by manufacturing supply. After all, what good does it do the company if you want one of its devices, but are unable to get it? You’ll just wind up with competitor, no? Doesn’t help that Foxconn admitted it isn’t capable of staying on top of iPad Mini demand: “We can’t really fulfill Apple’s requests,” says Foxcon’s chairman. “Our shipments are insufficient.”

Apple just recently fired several executive staffers, and add the fact that Google’s Android is just killing it, in terms of marketshare — which surged from 57.5 percent to 75 percent — and these don’t spell confidence for Wall Street. And some wonder if maybe the company doesn’t have much more room to expand… meaning that its customerbase could be maxed out.

“It has just been wave after wave of bad news,” says Gene Munster, renowned analyst at Piper Jaffray. Cupertino, however, denies any problem, saying the company’s still growing perfectly fine, thankyaverymuch. And its stock is up 38 percent on the year, which is still positive growth. Even so, it’s hard to ignore the decline in share prices. We’ll have to wait and see if this is just a drip in the pan or the drumbeat of doom for a falling enterprise.

[Via The New York Times, AFP, image via M. Spencer Green/Associated Press]