Apple shares tumble during silence on iPhone 5C preorders

Apple's shares are down in early trading Monday after the company fails to provide preorder numbers on the iPhone 5C.

Josh Lowensohn/CNET

Apple's silence on iPhone 5C preorders might be turning some shareholders away.

The company's shares on Monday are trading down more than 2 percent to $454.83. As of this writing, shares are off more than $10. Meanwhile, the Dow and Nasdaq are up, and the technology industry is seeing a slight gain of .13 percent.

Exactly why Apple's shares are down Monday cannot be determined for sure, but it might be the company's unorthodox decision to not announce preorder figures for its iPhone 5C.

Since 2009, Apple has revealed iPhone preorder numbers for a respective device's first 24 hours of availability. Although Apple offered the iPhone 5C for preorder on Friday, the company decided against announcing preorder figures for the handset, surprising industry watchers.

Of course, just because Apple hasn't announced iPhone preorders for the first time in four years, it doesn't mean something is wrong. As CNET's resident Apple expert Josh Lowensohn pointed out earlier Monday , Apple's decision to stay quiet might simply be the result of the company selling two new handsets and only offering preorders on one -- the iPhone 5C. Apple's iPhone 5S model will go on sale later this week.

Then again, Apple's iPhone 5C might have softer demand than the company anticipated. Unlike the iPhone 5, which sold out online in an hour, the iPhone 5C is still readily available for preorder. Again, Apple could have more stock this time around, making it harder for the handset to sell out, but it's nonetheless an indicator to at least some shareholders that something could have gone awry.

Apple hasn't said a word about its iPhone sales, which means everything surrounding the company's declining stock price is speculation at this point. Still, shareholders are seeing something they don't like. You can bet Apple is paying close attention to that.

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