The drop was triggered by disappointing sales at Cirrus Logic, a key supplier of audio chips to Apple’s iPhone and iPad. Cirrus’s gloomy figures led analysts to suggest that Apple had sold fewer devices than previously expected in recent months, which triggered a sell-off yesterday. Apple’s shares fell more than five per cent, momentarily going under $400. The stock had hit prices above $700 in September.
The fall also meant that Apple’s market capitalisation was overtaken by oil giant ExxonMobil, which became the world’s most valuable company. Investors have grown sceptical of Apple’s ability to continue to grow at the rates that led to its massive valuation.