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Investors unloaded Apple shares in early trading Tuesday after the company's iPhone sales fell short of expectations in the holiday shopping season.

Following a disappointing earnings report after the close of trade Monday, a debate is heating up over where the consumer electronics giant's share price is headed. One analyst called for a near 40 percent fall in the stock.

"Apple hasn't had any technological innovations since Steve Jobs left, and this is a company that's getting beaten by its competitors. Now, we hear the next big item (iPhone 6) is going to have a larger (screen) size, Samsung has had that for two years," said Bert Dohmen, president and founder of Dohmen Capital Research Institute.

Data released by research firm IDC on Tuesday showed that Samsung's smartphone market share edged up one percentage point on-year to 31.3 percent in 2013, while Apple's fell from 18.7 percent to 15.3 percent.

During the quarter, Apple said it sold 51 million iPhones, fewer than the 55-million estimate expected by Wall Street analysts. In addition, the company said it expects to hand in current-quarter revenue of between $42 billion and $44 billion, versus expectations for $46.05 billion.