iPhone sales plummet in US amid COVID-19 pandemic

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Apple's retail store closures are having a big impact.
Photo: Tyler Lastovich/Unsplash

New data reveals the COVID-19 pandemic is having a significant impact on iPhone sales in the United States. Apple Store closures fueled a 56% drop in March. Average selling prices have also crashed.

Apple on March 14 was forced to close every single one of its retail stores outside of China as the coronavirus outbreak quickly spread around the globe. More than three weeks on, they are yet to reopen.

That’s one of the reasons why iPhone sales fell sharply last month, according to the latest spending data from KeyBanc.

iPhone sales slip 56%

The data indicates a 56% decrease year-over-year, with online sales unable to compensate. Blended average selling prices have also suffered a “significant” decline of 20% compared to March 2019, according to analyst John Vinh.

“Vinh says the trend will be negative for Apple suppliers and only recommends buying Broadcom,” reads a summary from Seeking Alpha.

The report doesn’t mention other factors that might have had an impact on sales, but it’s likely the postponement of a long-awaited iPhone SE refresh, and the fact that consumers just aren’t spending while many are stuck at home, also played a part.

Early April data from the Amperity COVID-19 Retail Monitor reveals overall retail demand is down 90% in the U.S., while online retail revenue has fallen 74%.

Apple Stores still out of action

Apple originally planned to reopen its retail stores on March 27, but on March 17, its online notices were updated to say that they were closed “until further notice.” An April 3 report from Bloomberg indicated that Apple’s most recent plan is to remain closed until at least early May.

Other reports suggest a new iPhone SE is still on the way and could debut next week, while Apple’s plans to refresh its flagship iPhone lineup this fall is supposedly on track.