iPhone shipments expected to fall 10% in Q1 2020 due to coronavirus

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Coronavirus is starting to have a big impact on Apple.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

iPhone shipments could fall 10% during the first quarter of 2020 as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

Reliable TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has reduced his forecast to 36-40 million units. His latest report, seen by Cult of Mac, also warns that it’s too early to tell what kind of impact the epidemic might have on Q2.

Apple just reported yet another record-breaking quarter after it raked in a staggering $91.8 billion during the final three months of 2019. It is expected to build on that with a slew of new products in early 2020.

But it looks like there could be problem with that plan. The ongoing coronavirus outbreak means Apple may not be able to ship as many smartphones as it would like during the first quarter of the year.

iPhone shipments could suffer in Q1 2019

In his newest research report, Kuo explained that “iPhone supply is being affected” by coronavirus, which is yet to be controlled and continues to spread throughout China. And it could have a big impact.

Kuo has reduced his iPhone shipment forecast by 10%, to 36-40 million units, for this quarter as a result of an “unstable supply.” It’s too early to predict how the epidemic might affect iPhone shipments in the second quarter.

A previous report from Kuo, published just last week, warned that Apple orders could be affected by coronavirus in the foreseeable future. But we had no idea how significant the impact could be.

Coronavirus may have also affected smartphone sales in China, which declined 50-60% year-over-year during the New Year. It’s thought consumer confidence may be declining as the epidemic continues.

A public health emergency

Apple chip supplier TSMC last week insisted that coronavirus would not affect production at its plants. But of course, Apple relies on a huge number of component suppliers throughout China.

Kuo’s report comes less than a week after coronavirus forced the World Health Organization to declare a global health emergency. The virus has now spread to other countries around the world.

Apple has already confirmed that it will temporarily close all its retail stores in mainland China.