While Apple is still growing - no small achievement for a company with sales well over $US100 billion - its pace of growth has slowed as high-end smartphone adoption approaches saturation and rivals flood the market with cheaper devices, which are popular in high-growth developing countries like China and India.
Cook on Tuesday acknowledged that Samsung, which has smartphones in all price categories, is its top competitor. Apple also said it does sacrifice margin in the short-term, as it did with the iPad mini, if executives believe a product has long-term potential.
"Apple is in the transition phase from growth to a value company," said Tim Ghriskey, chief investment officer of Solaris Asset Management. "Growth companies tend to put every penny back in, but that is not the case with Apple here."
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