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MarketWatch First Take: When the going gets tough, Apple hides its numbers

Apple Inc. dropped a bomb on Thursday, but it wasn’t the weak forecast for the holiday quarter: It was the fact that it will no longer disclose unit sales of its products for investors, as it has for more than a decade.

Apple AAPL, +1.54% reported that unit shipments for the iPhone were flat at 46.9 million units sold in the fiscal fourth quarter Thursday, then executives in a conference call said it would be the last time the company gives such information. Investors should clearly take this as a sign that unit sales will decline in the future, and they will not be told.

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