Kuo predicts iPhone shipments for the quarter will drop by ten percent due to the coronavirus

The most reliable Apple analyst has no doubt in his mind that the coronavirus outbreak will impact iPhone sales, prompting him to cut his shipment guidance by ten percent.

This was mentioned in Kuo’s research note with TF International Securities, seen by CNBC last night, in which the revered analyst cautions that there are indications that the iPhone supply is being indeed affected by the coronavirus outbreak in China, a 1.4 billion people country.

Here’s an excerpt from his note to clients:

Our latest survey indicates that the iPhone supply is being affected by the coronavirus and, therefore, we cut the iPhone shipment forecasts by ten percent in the first quarter of 2020. It’s difficult to predict the shipments in the second quarter because of the uncertainties of the coronavirus epidemic and consumer confidence.

The ten percent shipment decrease puts Kuo’s iPhone shipments estimate for this quarter at approximately 36-40 million units. For guidance, the analyst previously estimated that the Cupertino tech giant had shipped about 38 million iPhones during the first quarter of last year.

As you probably know, Apple no longer reports iPhone unit sales.

The analyst also mentioned in his research note to clients that overall smartphone shipments in China declined by as much as 50-60 percent annually during the Chinese New Year holiday period, a drop that he chalks up to eroding consumer confidence due to the coronavirus.

The coronavirus outbreak has already affected many businesses and continues to negatively impact the world’s economy so it’s no surprise at all that it’s causing Apple’s global supply chain produce fewer handsets moving into the second quarter.

Besides, Apple’s boss Tim Cook warned in the earnings call last week that the coronavirus could affect revenues for the quarter, prompting the company’s leadership to set a $4 billion revenue guidance range between $63 billion and $67 billion.

According to the newest numbers Monday from China’s National Health Commission, there have been 17,205 cases of coronavirus in the country and 361 deaths so far. Be sure to check out the organization’s official website to educate yourself on the latest about the coronavirus and how to protect yourself.