Apple says the consequences of the Coronavirus are to blame for a slowing of sales – as a result, the company expects its quarterly sales guidance to be wide of the mark.
There are two main reasons for this. Firstly, iPhones will be in short supply for a period as manufacturing partners across China slowly ramp back up to full efficiency. “The health and well-being of every person who helps make these products possible is our paramount priority,” says Apple, before noting that revenues will surely be affected by the inevitable stock shortages.
Secondly, the effect of the virus’ spread across China had hampered demand for Apple products in the region. Many Apple Stores have been closed or running at reduced hours. “We are gradually reopening our retail stores and will continue to do so as steadily and safely as we can.” Apple is keen to let investors know that customer demand around the rest of the world is as strong as ever.
The statement offers its condolences to those affected by Coronavirus and notes that Apple is more than doubling its donation to support the public health effort.
“The situation is evolving, and we will provide more information during our next earnings call in April. Apple is fundamentally strong, and this disruption to our business is only temporary. Our first priority — now and always — is the health and safety of our employees, supply chain partners, customers and the communities in which we operate. Our profound gratitude is with those on the front lines of confronting this public health emergency.”