Apple opens new chapter as iPhone sales fall and stock sinks

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Apple hoped to offset slowing demand for iPhones by raising the prices of its most important product, but that strategy seems to have backfired after sales drooped during the holiday shopping season.

Now, CEO Tim Cook is grappling with his toughest challenge since replacing co-founder Steve Jobs 7 ½ years ago. Even as he tries to boost iPhone sales, Cook also must prove that Apple can still thrive even if demand doesn’t rebound.

Cook’s began tackling the test Tuesday with the release of Apple’s quarterly earnings report, four weeks after he disclosed the company had missed its own revenue projections.

The results fell in line with analysts’ lowered expectation. Profit dipped slightly to $20 billion while revenue fell 5 percent from the prior year to $84 billion.

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