Tech Industry

iPad Mini launch fails to impress Wall Street

Long lines and sellouts of Apple's new tablet don't appear to impress Wall Street much. The company's stock takes another dip.

James Martin/CNET

Despite shoppers lining up around the world for Apple's freshly launched tablets, Wall Street appears to be unimpressed.

Shares of Apple's stock closed at $576.67, down $19.87, or 3.33 percent, on Friday, continuing a downward trend since late September.

The dip comes amid what appears to be brisk sales of the iPad Mini, though at a noticeably smaller scale than that of other major product launches. Analysts expect the company to sell anywhere from 800,000 to 1.5 million of the devices this weekend, which would be half the number of third-generation iPads Apple sold earlier this year in the same time period.

Despite the smaller estimates, Apple today proved that it could still draw lines for the new products, which went on sale at 8 a.m. local time in 34 countries. Droves of people were waiting to buy the product, which sold out of Apple's flagship store in New York City in two hours.

All eyes were on Apple's shares earlier this week when the U.S. stock exchange reopened following a two-day closure due to Hurricane Sandy. On Monday, the company announced a major restructuring among its top executives, including the immediate departure of its retail chief, John Browett, and planned exit of iOS chief Scott Forstall, who Apple says will remain at the company until "next year."

Following the news, Wall Street analysts were encouraged by the changes, saying what really mattered is that design chief Jony Ive was still at the company, and in fact had his role expanded to include parts of Apple's software.

Apple's stock price is up 40.81 percent for the year, but has seen a 12.44 percent decline in the past 30 days. Nonetheless, many analysts expect the stock price to rebound, with one target published this morning suggesting it will hit $1,111 in the next 12 months.

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