Coronavirus Outbreak May Halve China's Smartphone Sales in First Quarter

Smartphone sales in China could be reduced by as much as 50 percent in the first quarter of 2020 because of the impact the coronavirus outbreak is having on the retail and manufacturing sectors, according to new research.


Speaking to Reuters, research firm Canalys said that the closure of production facilities and retail stores by Apple and other tech companies will not only hit smartphone sales, but also impact product launches scheduled to take place in the first quarter of this year.

"Vendors' planned product launches will be canceled or delayed, given that large public events are not allowed in China," said Canalys researchers. "It will take time for vendors to change their product launch roadmaps in China, which is likely to dampen 5G shipments."

Apple isn't expected to unveil a 5G phone until September, when the "iPhone 12" series is expected to be announced, but other vendors like Huawei reportedly hoped to see a boost in sales on the back of China's 5G network rollout.

Apple in early February closed all of its corporate offices, stores, and contact centers in China due to the coronavirus outbreak that originated in Wuhan. The stores aren't expected to reopen as planned on February 10 because of ongoing concerns.

Meanwhile, Foxconn's Zhengzhou site, which is the most critical production site for the iPhone 11 and the upcoming low-cost iPhone, is seeing significant delays. The plant originally planned to resume work on February 2, but that has been postponed by at least one week.

There have already been multiple reports suggesting these closures will have an impact on Apple device production, and we could see dwindling device supplies and lengthening shipping times in the near future.

According to one report, Apple's ability to meet supply/demand balance of AirPods and AirPods Pro is in jeopardy due to the outbreak. The delays may also affect the upcoming low-cost ‌iPhone‌ that Apple is expected to launch as early as this March.

In his most recent report, respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo declined to provide new shipment forecasts in light of the coronavirus outbreak because "there are still many uncertainties" but last week he lowered his iPhone shipment forecast by 10 percent to 36 to 40 million units during Q1 2020 due to the coronavirus.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
8 months ago


Seems strange to be concerned about smartphone sales during an epidemic but okay

Business research firm does research on how an epidemic might affect business. Shocking.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
8 months ago
Seems strange to be concerned about smartphone sales during an epidemic but okay
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
8 months ago


I’m not referring to the original research, I’m referring to this very article. Just because some analyst somewhere did some BI study, doesn’t mean it needs to be trumpeted by the press. I should know, I work in the consulting industry.

Apple-focused news and rumors website reports on matters relating to said company. Shocking.


Instead of screaming how I can't buy a new iPhone, I'll be glad that there are no infections happening in the UK so far (there are four infected people, and over 100 people coming from China under quarantine, but there are no known infections in the UK so far, and that would be the thing that would worry me).

You jinxed it.

https://news.sky.com/story/uk-coronavirus-cases-double-as-four-more-test-positive-11930618
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
8 months ago

Can none of you see the pattern? the Wolf has cried so many times I've stopped paying attention.

It's interesting you should use that example. You do remember what happened at the end of that story, don't you?

The wolf eventually shows up. Just like all of those Category 4/5 hurricanes are going to miss major population centers and fizzle out so that everyone who takes advice to evacuate are mere lemming fools... until a Hurricane Katrina hits and they're drowning their attics.

Enjoy your superiority.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
8 months ago

Ebola has been prominent in Africa for all these years and people barely talk about it anymore.

[LIST=1]
* Ebola is bad, but we know exactly what it can do and the things that can be done to limit its transmission.
* There is a vaccine for Ebola ('https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ebola_vaccine').

We have neither of these conditions for the Novel Coronavirus. The part of not knowing exactly what it can do is the part that's most alarming because we simply do not know if it's just a pest or a killer.

Even if early indications are that it's just a pest that gives you the sniffles, until we have a chance to do more research on it, there's a fear that it could mutate into a killer. That fear is especially founded if you consider that a couple other coronaviruses had a much higher fatality rate. SARS killed about 10% of the people that got it and MERS killed 35% of its victims.

That's why health agencies around the world are freaking out. The spread of the latest coronavirus has already far exceeded the spread of the other ones before it and we just don't know what the long term implications are. So far it doesn't appear to be highly lethal, but even that's not entirely certain. It's possible that people who get it develop elevated risks for cancer or heart disease... you name it.

That's the problem with not knowing what we're fighting so it's a far better idea to possibly overreact than to try and push back on the ocean when the town is already underwater.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
8 months ago


I actually think it's funny that anyone takes these pandemic scares seriously. it's that time of the year folks! Time for the CDC to come up with a new disease that's gonna kill us all! It's every February too. Let's look at the list shall we, and none of it's complete or in order but here we go:

1. The SARS epidemic
2. Killer Bees going to come to the USA
3. Hanta Virus
4. Bird Flu
5. Pig Flu
6. Zika Virus
7. Ebola Virus
8. Mad Cow Disease
9. Should I even add Y2K???

Meanwhile I enjoy sitting back, munching some popcorn and watching the lemmings...

This is so dumb. You realize nearly all of those didn’t escalate because of the precautions and attention given by governments, the CDC/WHO etc right? Even with Y2K months of work was put into preventing anything from happening.

So you’re essentially complaining that people did their jobs too well and contained these things.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Hands-On With iOS 14 Widgets, Custom Icons, and Home Screen Setup

Tuesday September 22, 2020 3:25 pm PDT by
Apple with iOS 14 introduced widgets on the Home Screen, leading to unprecedented levels of customization for the iPhone. Combined with Shortcuts that let you change an app's icon, iOS 14 lets you create a whole new look for your Home Screen. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. We've been following along with some of the creative alternative Home Screen designs that M...

New Images Leak of iPhone 12 Braided USB-C to Lightning Cable

Thursday September 24, 2020 2:37 am PDT by
Rumors suggest Apple's upcoming iPhone 12 models will ship with a new Lightning to USB-C cable that includes a braided fabric design. Images of the purported cables were leaked in July, and today leaker Mr White has shared new images that give us a closer look at what we might get included in the iPhone 12 box. The photos show a USB-C to Lightning cable with a clearly braided design rather...

Apple's iPhone 12 Event Could Happen on October 13 Based on Rumors From Mobile Operators

Wednesday September 23, 2020 11:51 am PDT by
Apple's upcoming iPhone-centric event could perhaps be held on Tuesday, October 13, according to information shared with MacRumors by an employee at a UK cellular carrier. There's no way for us to confirm the dates at this point in time nor are we sure on the credibility of the source, but even without a rumor, Tuesday, October 13 is a good guess based on Apple's historic launch timelines, ...

New Version of Microsoft Office Coming Next Year That Won't Require a Subscription

Thursday September 24, 2020 1:53 am PDT by
Microsoft will next year offer a new perpetual release of Microsoft Office for Mac and Windows that doesn't require a subscription to use, according to the software giant (via Windows Central). "Microsoft Office will also see a new perpetual release for both Windows and Mac, in the second half of 2021," said Microsoft in a blog post announcing the next version of its Exchange server,...

Interest in iOS 14 Home Screen Ideas Helps Pinterest Break Daily Download Record

Wednesday September 23, 2020 4:37 am PDT by
Apple's introduction of widgets on the Home Screen in iOS 14 has driven a surge in interest among users looking to customize their iPhone, and that has reportedly had a knock-on effect for Pinterest, whose iOS app has seen record downloads as users flock to its content seeking design inspiration. As reported by TechCrunch, App Store intelligence firm Apptopia was first to note the impact of ...

'iPhone 12 mini' Name Reappears in Leaked Apple iPhone 12 Case Stickers

Friday September 25, 2020 1:58 am PDT by
Earlier this week a proven leaker claimed that the iPhone 12 lineup would be named "iPhone 12 mini," "iPhone 12," "iPhone 12 Pro," and "iPhone 12 Pro Max," and today the same nomenclature has appeared again in a photo depicting alleged stickers from unreleased Silicone iPhone cases originating from Apple's international distribution center in Ireland. The photo shows three stickers with the...

Apple Releases iOS 14.0.1 With Fix for Bug That Resets Default Apps After Rebooting

Thursday September 24, 2020 10:12 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS 14.0.1, the first update to the iOS 14 operating system that was released on September 16. Today's update is a bug fix update addressing issues that weren't able to be fixed in the initial iOS 14 launch. The iOS 14.0.1 update is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the new software, go to Settings > General > Software Update. ...

Apple Emphasizes That Solo Loop May Increase in Length Over Time, Updates Sizing Guide With More Specific Instructions

Wednesday September 23, 2020 8:26 am PDT by
Apple on Tuesday updated one of its support documents to emphasize that the new silicone rubber Solo Loop for the Apple Watch may increase in length over time, as mentioned in fine print at the bottom of the Solo Loop product page. Apple has also updated its printable Solo Loop sizing guide with more specific instructions, as noted by 9to5Mac's Michael Steeber. The guide now advises users to ...

iOS 14 Widgets Offer iPhone Users Creative Home Screen Ideas

Sunday September 20, 2020 8:43 pm PDT by
Updated on September 22nd with hands on video. In iOS 14, Apple introduced ‌the concept of Home Screen‌ widgets, which provide information from apps at a glance. Widgets can be pinned to the Home Screen in various spots and sizes, allowing for many different layouts. Despite the relative lack of...

Kuo: Mini-LED Displays to Debut in Apple's Next iPad Pro

Tuesday September 22, 2020 11:45 pm PDT by
Following his report earlier this week indicating that Apple will be accelerating adoption of mini-LED displays in its iPad and Mac notebook lineups thanks to better than expected development from potential secondary supplier Sanan Optoelectronics, analyst Ming-Chi has released a new report today sharing a bit more perspective on the mini-LED display market as it relates to Apple. Kuo says...