President Trump’s threatened bans on ByteDance’s TikTok and Tencent Holdings’ WeChat, both based in China, could significantly slash Apple’s sale of iPhones, per indications from a new survey.
In fact, a prominent analyst told Fox Business that iPhone shipments could fall by as much as 30 percent if the company is forced to boot WeChat from its App Store.
As reported by Fox, KGI Securities Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said that global shipments of the iPhone could drop by 25 to 30 percent if Trump carries out his threat to ban the popular TikTok and WeChat. In addition, Kuo said that annual shipments of other Apple hardware devices — including AirPods, iPads, Apple Watches and Macs — could drop by 15 to 25 percent.
"Because WeChat has become a daily necessity in China, integrating functions such as messaging, payment, e-commerce, social networking, news reading, and productivity, if this is the case, we believe that Apple's hardware product shipments in the Chinese market will decline significantly," Kuo wrote in the report, first reported by MacRumors. "We estimate that the annual iPhone shipments will be revised down by 25–30 percent, and the annual shipments of other Apple hardware devices, including AirPods, iPad, Apple Watch and Mac, will be revised down by 15–25 percent."
However, if new trade rules only force Apple to cut WeChat from its U.S. App Store, Kuo estimates that worldwide iPhone shipments would drop far less, slumping in the 3 percent to 6 percent range. Declines in sales of other Apple products would drop less than 3 percent.
Many questions remain about Trump’s executive orders that were issued last week, such as the exact scope of them.
The Nikkei Asian Review reported that: “The order will likely force U.S. app stores, including Google’s and Apple’s, to remove TikTok and WeChat. It is unclear whether using or downloading the apps will be prohibited in the U.S. after 45 days, according to legal experts.”
TikTok experienced skyrocketing growth due to the COVID-19 pandemic, led by teens and homebound consumers seeking entertainment. Since then, the video-sharing app has become a digital pariah that is eyed with suspicion and banned by governments and private companies worldwide as a potential security threat.