Apple's late 5G launch saw iPhone sales tumble

The late launch of a 5G model cost Apple its biggest slide in iPhone sales for two years.

Shares in the tech giant fell as much as 5% in U.S. after-hours trade late Thursday, at one point knocking 100 billion dollars off its stock value.

Since 2013 Apple has delivered new iPhones each September.

This year, health-crisis related delays meant CEO Tim Cook didn’t unveil the new handsets until October 13:

"We are very excited about 5G on iPhone and we are going to introduce 5G across our entire lineup of new iPhone models today.”

The late launch caused many people to hold off on purchases, driving iPhone sales down by more than 20% in the latest quarter.

In China sales fell over 28%.

However, Cook says he’s confident the 5G models will now drive a rebound.

And Apple’s overall sales still beat estimates, coming in at 64.7 billion dollars for the fourth quarter.

Booming sales of Macs and AirPod earphones made up for the slide in iPhone shipments.