The series of bad news from the technology industry continues.

On Thursday after the market closed, the American technology giants Apple, Amazon and Alphabet presented mostly disappointing business results.

This was particularly notable for Apple.

Roland Lindner

Business correspondent in New York.

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The iPhone manufacturer had done comparatively well so far, but this time it had to accept a drop in sales.

The Alphabet holding around the Internet company Google disappointed across the board.

The online retailer Amazon exceeded expectations overall with its sales, but the growth of its division around cloud computing has continued to weaken.

Wall Street was disappointed, the prices of all three companies were temporarily around 4 percent in the red in after-hours trading.

Alphabet and Amazon are among tech companies that have announced major job cuts in recent weeks.

Alphabet wants to save 12,000 jobs, Amazon even 18,000.

The software provider Microsoft and the Internet company Meta also recently announced that they would each cut at least 10,000 jobs.

Among the tech giants, only Apple has so far not announced any major cuts.

It seems to stay that way for the time being.

The group said on Thursday that it wanted to save costs and hire fewer staff.

However, there is still no talk of job cuts.

Apple has been expanding its workforce less rapidly than many other tech companies during the pandemic.

iPhone business below expectations

Apple reported a 5 percent drop in sales to $117.2 billion for the past quarter, analysts had expected an average of $121.1 billion.

It's the first drop in sales in years, even if the company says it would have grown at constant currency.

In addition to negative currency effects and the generally difficult economic environment, Apple also blamed the recent production interruptions in China for the drop in sales.

There were significant delivery bottlenecks in November and December for the two variants of the iPhone 14 Pro, the premium models of his smartphone.

The situation has now stabilized again.

China is of enormous importance for Apple as a production location, but also as a sales market.

Apple's net income fell 13 percent to $30.0 billion, and earnings per share of $1.88 were 6 cents lower than expected.

Sales fell in several segments.

The iPhone, by far the most important product, fell 8 percent to $65.8 billion, well below analysts' expectations.

In the service business, which is now the second largest division, sales rose by 6 percent to $20.8 billion.

This division includes the App Store, the payment service Apple Pay and the music platform Apple Music.

Sales of Macintosh computers fell 29 percent to $7.7 billion, while sales of products such as the Apple Watch digital clock and Airpod wireless headphones fell 8 percent to $13.5 billion.

Business with the iPad tablet computer developed best, with sales increasing by 30 percent to $9.4 billion.

Apple isn't preparing for a quick turnaround.

Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri said that the group expects a similar sales development for the coming quarter as in the past three months.

With the iPhone, however, the situation will improve.

Cloud division AWS weakens, but remains Amazon's support

Amazon reported fourth quarter revenue growth of 9 percent to $149.2 billion.

Analysts had expected an average of $145.4 billion.

Net income this time was just $278 million, down from $14.3 billion last year.

However, these figures are difficult to compare because they take into account changes in the value of Amazon's stake in the electric car manufacturer Rivian, whose share price rose significantly in the final quarter of 2021 but has fallen significantly since then.

Amazon's operating income has also fallen - from $3.5 billion to $2.7 billion.

In the cloud division Amazon Web Services (AWS), sales increased by 20 percent to 21.4 billion dollars.

That was slightly less than analysts expected, and in the third quarter growth was still 27 percent.

Andrew Lipsman of market research group Insider Intelligence said the slowdown in AWS was more pronounced than expected.

The division also experienced an unusual drop in operating profit this time, falling 2 percent to $5.2 billion.

However, AWS remains an important pillar, without the division the group would have reported a loss overall.

Alphabet's vulnerability Youtube

Alphabet's revenue increased by one percent to $76.0 billion in the past quarter, analysts had expected $76.5 billion.

Net income fell 34 percent to $13.6 billion, and earnings per share of $1.05 were 13 cents worse than expected.

Once again, the biggest weakness was the video site YouTube, whose advertising revenue fell by 8 percent to $8.0 billion.

Google's general advertising business, which includes ads alongside search engine results, also saw sales fall slightly this time, for the first time since 2020 amid the pandemic.

With its activities in cloud computing, however, Google achieved growth of 32 percent.

Even though Alphabet has now announced job cuts, the workforce grew slightly in the past quarter.

At the end of the year, the group employed around 190,000 people.

Three months earlier it was almost 187,000.