Citigroup was in the running to become the U.S. financial partner for the Apple Card, but abandoned the effort late into negotiations because of worries about "acceptable profit," a report claimed on Tuesday.
Apple's stock price is down over 1 percent in Tuesday trading in the wake of a Citigroup investor memo, calling for the company's sales to slide below Wall Street predictions when it announces third-quarter results on July 26.
Reports from a variety of analysts predict a huge swell in tablet computer sales next year ranging from 35 to 100 million units in total, with Apple's iPad accounting for the largest number sold by far.
Analysts are again bullish on Apple stock after the company reported a record third quarter in Tuesday's earnings report, and provided higher-than-expected guidance in some aspects of its fourth quarter.
Even as Apple has insisted it's content to give AT&T exclusive access to the iPhone, a closer look at Apple's own devices — and a likely dead-end in growth through its existing carrier strategy — shows that Apple may have little choice but to sell its smartphone through Verizon and other carriers by 2011 at the latest.
While previewing Apple's fiscal first quarter earnings due next week, investment bank Citigroup reduced its estimates on the electronics maker and said a sharp reduction in iPhone shipments could signal a refresh as early as April.
Citi and Goldman Sachs have rebutted notions that Apple is in danger due to the US economic collapse and say that strong iPhone sales, new MacBooks and continued healthy growth should keep the company successful in the long term.
Investment banks Citigroup and RBC Capital Markets have both raised their outlook for Apple's second fiscal quarter, saying they expect the company to announce Wednesday revenues of more than $7 billion on sales of over 2 million Mac systems.
Following overseas meetings with members of the Taiwanese PC and consumer electronics supply chain, analysts for investment bank Citigroup said they have high convictions that Apple intends to roll out a 3G iPhone during the second quarter of the year.