Well-known Apple industry analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has lowered his iPhone shipment forecast by 10% to 36-40 million units in the first calendar quarter of 2020, due to the coronavirus outbreak that is affecting iPhone supply in China.
Multiple reports have indicated that the production of the much-rumored “iPhone SE 2” or “iPhone 9” could be disrupted by the outbreak. The lower-cost device was expected to enter mass production in February for a March release date. Apple may still announce the device in March, but the initial supply could be constrained until production has a chance to ramp up.
In a TF International Securities research note (provided by MacRumors), Kuo noted that smartphone shipments in the Chinese market declined by 50-60% year-over-year during the Chinese New Year holiday period, possibly due to a drop in consumer confidence due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Apple announced last week that it has closed all of its corporate offices, stores, and contact centers in mainland China through at least February due to concerns over the coronavirus outbreak.