Questions about Apple’s future lead to heavy trading in the technology giant Wednesday afternoon, prompting a 4.2 percent drop to $551.50 per share and an almost 22 percent decline since it’s all-time high of $705 in September. More than 17 million shares were traded during midday action on Wall Street. Among questions facing investors: can Apple management perform without Steve Jobs, can the company produce another hit product, and can the iPad maker fend off Android…

“This is a management test, of how well [Apple] can perform without (deceased former chief executive) Steve Jobs,” Brian Battle, director of Chicago-based Performance Trust Capital Partners, told Reuters.

Apple needs “another product that hits it out of the park,” he said. If that doesn’t happen, there could be a “gradual grind-down in confidence.”

Also of concern is a Wednesday report from IDC forecasting Apple’s iPad could lose ground to Android rivals. As we reported, Apple’s market share in 2012 could fall to 53.8 percent, down from 56.3 in 2011. By contrast, Android could increase its share to 42.7 percent, up from 39.8 percent a year ago.

Another factor weighing on investors is news that Nokia has inked a deal with China Mobile, a partnership that could eat into the iPhone’s share of the China market.

If that wasn’t enough, worry over whether tax breaks on capital gains could survive negotiations over the U.S. ‘fiscal cliff’ is also prompting some shareholders to sell-off, the report notes.

  • Tardroid

    eeh, slow news day as usual ?!

    • apple is boring now thats all

      • Tardroid

        then GTFO from here.

      • would it be better if they gave us a proper redesigned iphone and a redesigned IOS ui instead of me leaving????

      • burlow

        reply to every post too

      • burlow

        here let me

  • ‘Can they make another hit product?’ If they make this TV everyone’s been talking about then yes, yes they will make anther hit product. Imagine Siri being able to change your channels, record your shows; iPad and iPhone synced as remotes, a true second screen experience with interactive ads. The possibilities are endless, and if they enter the market and get it right, their stock will rocket.

    • the tv thing is cliche and boring.. and it will be overpriced at a time wen cheap good quality tvs are everywhere..

      • Tardroid

        you’re a retard.

      • hell i could be a bowl of chicken soup and the apple tv thing would still be cliche and boring and you will still be sad and

      • burlow

        the apple tv thing is cliche and boring as you imagine it, which is why apple doesn’t hire people like you to design their future products.

      • burlow

        because I have no imagination and have every bit of confidence that apple will put out a decidedly boring product.

        comments like yours are cliche and boring.

  • apple is on a gradual decline..

    • burlow

      hi joe. you’re not the only pointless commenter with too much time on their hands. can we start a club?

  • Chris

    This news is 2 days old!

  • Hyr3m

    It was coming back up a little yesterday and it’s going down again today 😀 Watching AAPL going down on my Bloomberg is my daily afternoon treat since September.

    • the slow trend is down since iPhone updates have been boring since the iphone4 and IOS is totally stagnant now..

      • burlow

        is it a slow trend down that apple makes 80% of it’s revenue from products that didn’t exist 60 days ago?

      • Hyr3m

        Actually, it had been climbing up until the last week of September 2012. Apple’s objective quality has been going down in a slow trend since the iPhone4 but its stocks were doing very well until 3 months ago.

  • I love Apple products and I’m a proud owner of an iPhone 5 but they should’ve seen this coming. Maybe this will wake them the f*** up! Their products are overpriced especially abroad. Lots of countries have iPhones going for around or over $1000! And the ironic thing is that those are the countries where the poverty percentage is extremely high! And they really need to come up with a new innovative iPhone already. I really don’t understand what Apple is doing but if they go down it will be no one’s fault but their own. Retards.

    • Tardroid

      nobody is forcing those poors to buy new&shiny $1000 smartphone. Retard.

      • Muhammad Israr Khan

        There is an unequal distribution of wealth in such countries .. only elite class can afford such products (or status symbols) , and since the target market is elite class, they are being charged a premium.. not by Apple, but by apple resellers.

      • Tardroid

        exactly but OP is a retard.