Apple Inc's shares slid 6 percent on Wednesday as a pricier-than-expected iPhone "5C" extinguished hopes of a major expansion into lower-end markets such as China, while a fingerprint scanner-equipped premium version fell short on hardware advancements.
The 5C and costlier 5S, introduced to much fanfare on Tuesday, won fans among some Wall Street analysts, who said preserving a premium price can safeguard Apple's already declining margins.
Others said the world's most valuable technology company, under siege in Asia and other emerging markets from Samsung Electronics and China's Huawei, was missing an opportunity to reverse slipping market share and drive significant sales growth.
The 5C's price appeared too lofty to fend off rivals in emerging markets. It will sell for 4,488 yuan ($730) in China, more than the average monthly urban income for the country and about $200 more than its price in the United States.
Apple's shares slid 5.6 percent to a one-month low of $467.24 at midday after at least three brokerages downgraded the stock a notch, though four others raised their target prices. Nomura Equity Research increased its target to $480 from $420.