july-23-02After years of stunning growth, Apple is under immense pressure to show that it’s still got what it takes to lead the technology industry. The Cupertino-based digital technology company, best known for its iPad, iPhone, and wide range of computer products, will announce its third-quarter results to investors this Thursday.

Analysts have predicted quarterly earnings of £22.9 billion for the tech company – a figure that’s relatively conservative when compared to the incredible growth Apple has experienced in recent years. The figure is almost exactly the same as sales from the same quarter last year, indicating somewhat stagnant growth for Apple.

Operating profits, on the other hand, are predicted to have grown by two percent to almost $9 billion during the third quarter. The earnings, while remarkable, have hit Apple’s reputation for constant innovation and change hard, with investors worried that the company has lost its innovative and creative corporate culture.

Apple’s success with the fifth-generation iPhone resulted in many former critics of the Cupertino-based company reversing statements that Apple might not survive in the post-Jobs era. However, the recent drought of new products from Apple may be enough to reverse those opinions once again and bring Apple’s future into doubt.

Wedge Partners, an equity analysis firm, recently cost Apple investors dearly when it revealed that the company had reduced production of its devices due to a lower-than-normal amount of orders. Apple has faced incredible competition during the last five years from mobile phone and tablet rivals such as Samsung and HTC.

For the technology world’s largest company, the possibility of a major stock price drop is very real indeed. Sir Jonathan Ive, Apple’s design mastermind, is leading an effort to redesign Apple’s operating system to make the company’s products more appealing to consumers and potentially increase sales.

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