Apple iPhone shipment estimates cut by Kuo on coronavirus concerns

Customers look at the Apple’s new iPhone 11 series smartphones in an Apple retail store on East Nanjing Road in Shanghai.

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Top Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said in a note Monday that his firm,TF international Securities is cutting iPhone shipment forecasts for the first quarter of 2020 (Apple’s fiscal Q2) by 10% because of the coronavirus.

Our latest survey indicates that the iPhone supply is being affected by the coronavirus and, therefore, we cut the iPhone shipment forecasts by 10% to 36-40 mn units in 1Q20,” Kuo said in the note. Apple no longer discloses how many iPhones it ships each quarter, but Kuo estimates Apple shipped about 38 million during the first quarter of last year.

Kuo said it’s unclear how shipments will be affected moving into the second quarter. “It’s difficult to predict the shipments in 2Q2020 because of the uncertainties of the coronavirus epidemic and consumer confidence,” he said.

Apple reported earnings on January 28 when it smashed iPhone sales expectations. It reported iPhone revenues of $55.96 billion versus $51.92 billion expected by analysts, according to Refinitiv consensus estimates. But, CEO Tim Cook warned that the coronavirus might affect sales for its next quarter, and set a $4 billion revenue guidance range between $63 billion and $67 billion.

China’s National Health Commission confirmed said Monday there have been 17,205 cases of coronavirus in the country and 361 deaths. Over the weekend, Apple said it was closing more than 40 stores in China and its corporate offices through Feb. 9.

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