Apple's iPhone factories in China have had to temporarily close down because of COVID-19 (the new coronavirus), which the company says will cause global supply shortages of iPhones, and will also result in it missing its quarterly revenue target of 49-52 billion pounds.
According to The Guardian, Apple told its investors this week that thanks to the factory shutdown and the total lack of Chinese people doing any shopping in case they catch deathitis, the company's income would be lower than expected – but didn't give a new figure.
Apple's statement explained:
"Work is starting to resume around the country, but we are experiencing a slower return to normal conditions than we had anticipated. As a result, we do not expect to meet the revenue guidance we provided for the March quarter. [...]
All of our stores in China and many of our partner stores have been closed. Additionally, stores that are open have been operating at reduced hours and with very low customer traffic. We are gradually reopening our retail stores and will continue to do so as steadily and safely as we can."
CEO Tim Cook stated that the original revenue projection of $63-67 billion was already taking potential coronavirus problems into account – a range of $4bn is pretty wide – but clearly the effect has been worse than anticipated.
According to analysts at TF International Securities, iPhone shipments are down by around 10% as a result of the problems.
Apple also stated that it is most concerned about the people who actually have COVID-19, including healthcare workers and people in its supply chain, and would be "more than doubling" its donation to the cause.
"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 frontlines of confronting this public health emergency."
Thankfully, the world really isn't short of iPhones, and even in the unlikely event you can't yet get hold of the new one you wanted to buy, there's a near-limitless supply of refurbished and second-hand phones to choose from. It's just that Apple would prefer you didn't think about that. [Guardian]