With concerns that the coronavirus in China will impact the supply of iPhones, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said his company, TF international Securities, is reducing its predictions for the supply of iPhones in the first quarter of this year by 10 percent. Kuo said, according to CNBC, “It’s difficult to predict the shipments in 2Q2020 because of the uncertainties of the coronavirus epidemic and consumer confidence.”
The National Health Commission of China reported on Monday (Feb. 3) there have thus far been 17,205 coronavirus cases in the nation as well as 361 deaths. Apple said over the weekend that it was closing its corporate offices through Feb. 9 and shuttering over 40 brick-and-mortar locations in China. And, while Apple reported earnings that came out ahead of sales forecasts for the iPhone, CEO Tim Cook noted that the virus could impact sales for the following quarter.
Kuo said in a note, according to CNBC, “Our latest survey indicates that the iPhone supply is being affected by the coronavirus and, therefore, we cut the iPhone shipment forecasts by 10% to 36-40 mn units in 1Q20.” Apple, for its part, doesn’t make it known how many iPhones it mails out every quarter any longer, but the analyst estimates that the tech company shipped approximately 38 million over the first quarter of the prior year.
In October, news surfaced that Apple had reportedly sought to ship more than 200 million handsets this year after putting forward more than four new iPhone models with the potential inclusion of 5G models, 4G models, and a successor to the budget iPhone SE device.
Beyond Apple, the coronavirus is forcing international businesses in different verticals to curtail operations, shutter locations or even close down for a while. Lion Air from Indonesia and British Airways aren’t flying into mainland China any longer.
Delta is halving its flights to China, while American Airlines has halted all flights from Los Angeles to Shanghai and Beijing per news at the end of January. JPMorgan, Kraft Heinz and Ford have all instituted travel bans to China, according to reports.