The extended shut down in China due to the coronavirus outbreak has hit iPhone sales hard in the region. Government data shows that Apple sold less than half a million iPhones in February, with sales declining by as much as 60% YoY.
In February 2020, a total of 6.34 million smartphones were shipped in China — down 54.7% from the 14 million sold in the same month in 2019. This was the lowest recorded smartphone shipment in China since 2012 when the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT) started reporting such data.
While in February of 2019, Apple shipped 1.27 million iPhones, its shipments declined to just 494,000 units this year. For comparison, in January, the company had shipped over 2 million iPhones in the region.
Chinese Android OEMs like Xiaomi and Huawei were the most affected by the sales drop as their total smartphone shipment declined to 5.85 million units from 12.72 million units in February 2019.
The massive decline in iPhone sales in China in February is not surprising. Apple had to keep the majority of its retail stores shut across the country for over two weeks due to the virus outbreak. The virus also affected the Chinese New Year plans Apple was expected to dominate this time around. It is not surprising then that Apple issued revised guidance for its Q2 revenue and noted that it will miss its revenue for the period.
Apple’s retail stores in China have re-opened but iPhone sales for this month are still expected to be lower than the previous year due to weak demand and supply constraints.[Via Reuters]