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Apple may be in for model-cycle purgatory

The Apple store on Fifth Avenue in New York City.
Getty Images
The Apple store on Fifth Avenue in New York City.

Most companies would yearn for what may be Apple's worst quarterly report since it launched the iPhone in 2007. Sure, the $550 billion tech giant's top line nearly flatlined as demand for its smartphones stalled in the last quarter of 2015, but sales did edge higher than a year earlier despite the dollar's strength, the gross margin topped 40 percent and profit hit a record $18.4 billion. Even so, Chief Executive Tim Cook may be in for a dose of model-cycle purgatory.