Why Apple stock withered on Wednesday

A longtime rival is making a hard push into the smartwatch category.

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This article was originally published on Fool.com. All figures quoted in US dollars unless otherwise stated.

What happened

So much for being immune to the tech stock sell-off. The stock of Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), which earlier this year largely held its value while peer techies fell in price, couldn't escape the trend on Wednesday. The company's shares lost more than 5% on some scraps of bearish news.

So what

The first is about a competing product, namely a smartwatch from Alphabet's (NASDAQ: GOOG)(NASDAQ: GOOGL) Google. Following rumors that Google would unveil such a product, the company confirmed this today at its annual I/O developer conference. While officials weren't exactly full of details about the Pixel Watch, they did reveal that it'll be released later this year.

Apple is the dominant smartwatch maker in the world by far, holding more than 30% of global market share in the product category. The runner-up is notably behind: Samsung (OTC:SSNLF), with barely over 10%. So there's certainly opportunity here for a determined entrant, like Alphabet, with a snazzy new product.

Another news item that could be considered slightly negative is Apple's announcement that it will halt production of the iPod. It was a revolutionary product when released as a digital music player in 2001, but it has been replaced over time by smartphones that typically bundle a music app into their native software suites.

The iPod long ago ceased to be a significant product for Apple; most smartphone owners are happy to use their beloved devices as jukeboxes. But maybe the jettisoning of the iPod is an uncomfortable reminder that the company hasn't introduced a world-shaking, hotly innovative product in quite some time.

Now what

Neither of these developments warranted Wednesday's sell-off. But in such an environment for tech stocks, sensitive investors react to even the most minor difficulties and challenges...and tend to pull the trigger on big sector names more readily than usual.

Apple remains a solid company that's still finding ways to grow, however. So for me, it's worthwhile to hang on to the stock in the hope of riding out this negative wave. 

This article was originally published on Fool.com. All figures quoted in US dollars unless otherwise stated.

Eric Volkman has positions in Apple. Suzanne Frey, an executive at Alphabet, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has positions in and has recommended Alphabet (A shares), Alphabet (C shares), and Apple. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has recommended the following options: long March 2023 $120 calls on Apple and short March 2023 $130 calls on Apple. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Alphabet (A shares), Alphabet (C shares), and Apple. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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