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Coronavirus outbreak will slash iPhone shipments by 10% (report)

iPhone 11 Apple store colors
(Image credit: Wang Gang/VCG via Getty Images)

It looks like the coronavirus could impact Apple's bottom line.

AppleInsider has seen a new note written by respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, which spells trouble for one of the biggest smartphone brands in the world. Kuo’s note predicts that iPhone shipments will be down by 10% in the first quarter of 2020, hitting between 36 and 40 million units. For reference, the sales for the same period last year were 38 million units.

Kuo is unwilling to make a prediction for Q2 shipments or a change in Apple’s earnings or stock price because of the virus, saying instead that it’s best not to jump to conclusions about further effects until the epidemic has stabilized.

Speaking last week, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that while the company did rely on suppliers in Wuhan, the area worst affected by the coronavirus outbreak, it was working on mitigation plans, and had changed its own sales forecast for Q2 to a wide-ranging $63 - $67 billion.

Furthermore, Apple’s iPhone manufacturing partner, Foxconn, has stepped up health monitoring at its facility in Zhengzhou, Wuhan, and is still intending to make its targets.

Another analyst, Patrick Moorhead, had also predicted trouble for Apple’s supply chains as a result of the coronavirus.

To date, the coronavirus has infected close to 18,000 people and 362 have died. Get up to speed with our coronavirus news and updates page.