As the coronavirus hampered demand, Apple sold less than 500,000 smartphones in China last month. The country put limits on travel and requested that residents stay clear of public places in January before the major gift-giving holiday of the Lunar New Year, and the restrictions, for the most part, were in place for much of last month, Reuters reported.
Apple device shipments dropped from 1.27 million last year to 494,000. Shipments were a bit more than 2 million in January. Canalys and IDC have forecast in the past that overall smartphone shipments would fall approximately 40 percent in Q1 as the outbreak of the coronavirus impacted demand.
Android brands comprised most of the decline, with shipments collectively falling to 5.85 million from 12.72 million units in February of last year. (Those brands include devices that Xiaomi and Huawei Technologies make.) Mobile phone brands in total shipped 6.34 million devices, which was less than the 14 million in February of last year.
It was also reported that Apple branded stores in China were closed for two weeks at a minimum last month amid rising worries regarding the coronavirus.
Earlier this month, news surfaced that Apple manufacturer and supplier Foxconn is back to work in China and said production would be back to normal by the close of March after the coronavirus outbreak.
Over 50 percent of its sidelined seasonal workers are now working again after the Taiwanese company said in the past that it could not anticipate the coronavirus’ effect on revenue. Chairman Liu Young-Way said during an online investor conference, “Prevention of the outbreak, resumption of work and production are our top priority.”
The highly contagious, flu-like virus that started in China at the conclusion of last year made its way to more than 70 countries and infected more than 90,000 people. Over 3,100 people have died, most in China per past reports.