Tech giants Apple, Google, and Amazon report disappointing results amidst bleak economic prospects

In the latest quarterly earnings reports, tech giants Apple, Amazon, and Alphabet have all reported disappointing results, highlighting the challenging economic outlook faced by the technology industry. However, Facebook parent company Meta managed to defy the trend with better-than-expected revenue figures.

Apple, in particular, experienced a significant decline in revenue, marking its first drop in nearly four years. The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting restrictions on its factories in China impacted iPhone sales during the crucial holiday season, resulting in sales of $117 billion (€107 billion) for the October-December period, a 5% decrease from the previous year. This downturn was even more pronounced than analysts had predicted.

Apple’s quarterly profit also suffered a year-on-year decrease of 13% to $30 billion (€27.5 billion), falling short of market expectations for the first time in nearly seven years. The company has been facing supply chain issues, including shortages of components such as semiconductors, that have hindered production and caused delays.

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Similarly, Amazon’s revenue growth rate has also slowed down, coming in at 15% in the fourth quarter, compared to 37% in the same period a year ago. The company attributed this to increased costs related to supply chain and shipping, as well as tough comparisons to the previous year’s holiday season sales, which were boosted by pandemic-related online shopping.

Alphabet, the parent company of Google, also reported a weaker-than-expected revenue growth rate, with a 14% increase in the fourth quarter, compared to 22% in the same period in 2020. The company cited increased spending on research and development, as well as a decline in advertising revenue growth, as reasons for the slower growth.

In contrast, Facebook’s Meta reported better-than-expected revenue figures, driven by growth in advertising revenue. The company’s revenue for the fourth quarter came in at $31.2 billion (€28.6 billion), up 33% from the previous year.

These disappointing results from some of the biggest tech companies highlight the ongoing challenges faced by the industry, including supply chain disruptions, rising costs, and increasing competition.