Apple sells fewer than 500,000 smartphones in China in February amid coronavirus

The global economy is taking a huge hit from the current world-threatening epidemic, the Coronavirus. The 2019–20 coronavirus outbreak is an ongoing global outbreak of coronavirus disease that has been declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. It is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, first identified in Wuhan, Hubei, China.

The spread of the virus has seen over 100 countries reported laboratory-confirmed cases as of today, more than 80859 people infected and 3,100 people died as of today’s WHO reports.

The disease has forced whole cities to shutdown and movement restricted.

A government report shows that Apple sold fewer than half a million smartphones in China in February. The report released on Monday attributes the low sales to the coronavirus outbreak that has halved demand for all such devices.

In an effort to curb the disease from spreading, China placed bans on travel and asked residents to avoid public places in late January, just ahead of China’s Lunar New Year festival, a major gift-giving holiday. The restrictions issued in late January has held up into February.

In numerical terms,  all mobile phone brands shipped a total of 6.34 million devices in February, down 54.7% from 14 million in the same month last year, data from the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology showed (CAICT).

It is the lowest levels of mobile shipments since 2012 when CAICT started publishing data.

Android device manufacturers including Huawei Technologies and Xiaomi accounted for most of the drop, as they collectively saw shipments decline from 12.72 million units in February 2019 to 5.85 million, the data showed.

Shipments of Apple devices slumped to 494,000, from 1.27 million in February 2019. In January, its shipments had held steady at just over 2 million.

Research firms IDC and Canalys previously forecast that overall smartphone shipments would drop by about 40% in the first quarter as the virus outbreak hit demand and brought supply-chain problems.

Apple’s branded stores in China were shut for at least two weeks in February as fears over the coronavirus outbreak mounted.

The company’s chief executive, Tim Cook, wrote a letter to investors that month warning it would not meet its initial revenue guidance for the current quarter due to demand issues.

Mahim Gupta
Mahim Gupta
I love journalism and writing, and I emphasize facts and direct implications for readers. I have a Bachelor's in Computer Science from Rutgers University and I've been writing about business, technology and science trends for many years. I also love writing about politics, world news or topics that require more perspective. Beyond industry news and news reviews, I review products, services and business profiles/brands. Head Writer | Editor at WeeklyReviewer

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