iPhone Sales in China Drop 60 Percent During Coronavirus Outbreak: Reuters

Apple reportedly sold fewer than 500,000 iPhones in China during February as shoppers simply aren’t buying smartphones during the coronavirus outbreak.

Reuters, citing figures from the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT), reports Apple sold approximately 494,000 iPhones across China during the month of February 2020, compared to an estimated 1.27 million during the same month in 2019.

CAICT figures indicate there were 6.34 million smartphones shipped in China in February, 7.66 million fewer than a year earlier, for a drop of 54.7 percent. Huawei Technologies and Xiaomi accounted for most of that number, as their combined device shipments fell from 12.72 million in February 2019 units to 5.85 million last month, a 46 percent contraction.

However, on a month-to-month basis, Apple just saw three-quarters of its business in China evaporate. In January, it shipped 2 million devices there. And again, in February, the figure was 494,000. Analysts had previously estimated shipments would plunge by 40 percent in the first quarter due to businesses and industries being shut down in an attempt to stem the spread of COVID-19, upsetting the supply chain.

The drop comes amid the deadly coronavirus outbreak which has lead to vast parts of China being put into lockdown, with workplaces and schools closed and citizens told to isolate themselves away from the greater population.

In February, Apple warned that its January revenue guidance was too optimistic due to slowdowns in manufacturing, as well as reduced demand in China.