Top analyst explains why he expects Apple to ship fewer iPhones than expected this quarter

Top analyst explains why he expects Apple to ship fewer iPhones than expected this quarter
Apple knows that the deadly and spreading coronavirus is a huge problem in China. The company widened the range of its fiscal second-quarter revenue forecast due to the uncertainty over what might happen in the current calendar quarter that runs through the end of March. CNBC reports that crystal ball wielding TF International analyst Ming-Chi Kuo recently sent out a note to clients revealing his expectations of a 10% cut in calendar Q1 iPhone shipments; Kuo is blaming the shortfall on the coronavirus.

Earlier today, we told you that Apple had temporarily closed its stores and offices in China where over 300 people have died from the virus. In his note, Kuo wrote "Our latest survey indicates that the iPhone supply is being affected by the coronavirus and, therefore, we cut the iPhone shipment forecasts by 10% to 36-40 million units in the calendar first quarter of 2020 (Apple's fiscal second-quarter)." While the manufacturer no longer releases the number of iPhones it ships during the quarter, Kuo estimated that Apple delivered 38 million handsets during the calendar first-quarter of 2019. So for the current quarter, the analyst sees iPhone shipments declining by as many as two million units or rising by the same amount.

Because of the coronavirus, Kuo cannot forecast Apple's calendar Q2 iPhone numbers

As for the calendar second quarter of 2020, Kuo says that he can't make a prediction for the calendar second quarter because of the coronavirus. More precisely, he told TF International clients "It’s difficult to predict the shipments in 2Q 2020 because of the uncertainties of the coronavirus epidemic and consumer confidence."

For the holiday shopping season covering October through December, Apple recently reported iPhone revenue of $55.96 billion. That made the 2019 holiday season the second-best for the iPhone in terms of revenue trailing only the 2017 holiday season. During the company's post-earnings conference call, CEO Tim Cook said to expect the company to report fiscal second quarter revenue of $63 billion to $67 billion.

Apple made a number of changes to the iPhone in 2019 adding an ultra-wide camera to the latest line. It also added a feature called Deep Fusion that takes eight exposures before the shutter is pressed. Overall, there are nine exposures and the neural engine in the A13 Bionic chip goes through each pixel to select the ones that create a sharper image with less noise. Apple's new Night Mode is enabled automatically whenever the camera detects that it is being used in a low-light environment. With Night Mode, viewable photos can be taken in the dark without having to employ the flash.

Apple also improved the battery life on all three of its new phones with the iPhone 11 lasting up to one hour more than the iPhone XR (which had the best battery life of any iPhone in history before last year's models were released). The iPhone 11 Pro gets up to four hours of additional battery life compared to the iPhone XS, and the iPhone 11 Pro Max delivers up to five hours of additional battery life compared to the iPhone XS Max. Water resistance has also been greatly improved with the iPhone 11 able to withstand being submerged to a depth of as much as 6.5-feet for as long as 30 minutes. The iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max can both be submerged to a depth of 13 feet for as long as 30 minutes and escape unscathed. Just keep in mind that water damage still isn't covered by the iPhone's warranty. Apple says that the new iPhones sport the toughest glass ever found on a smartphone and the phone itself can better survive a drop or fall.

Yes, the 2019 iPhone models are tough. But it looks as though they are going to be affected by the coronavirus as companies in China from contract manufacturers like Foxconn and Pegatron to firms along the supply chain have to scramble to assure the safety of employees.

Related phones

iPhone 11
iPhone 11 Pro
iPhone 11 Pro Max


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