Apple has announced that the company will not meet its fiscal quarter March targets due to the coronavirus epidemic in China.
Here is Apple's statement:
Our forecasts published on January 28, 2020 reflected the information available at the time and the estimates of the pace of work after the end of the Chinese New Year holidays, already postponed until February 10. Production is restarting across the country, but we are witnessing a slower than expected return to normal. Therefore, we do not expect to be able to meet the previously provided revenue estimates for the March quarter due to two main factors.
Apple cites both iPhone shipments, which will be limited worldwide, and declining demand for new Apple products in China. These two factors will have a significant impact on Apple’s quarterly revenues.
As for iPhone production, Apple says all of its partner factories in China are located outside the epicenter of Hubei Province and that many factories have already reopened.
As for customer demand in China, Apple says closing physical stores and reopening of cut-off times has reduced customer entry considerably, even though offices and contact centers have reopened and online stores have never t closed.
Apple said it is continuing to monitor the situation and will provide further information on the profits expected in April. In addition, the company will double its donations to help Chinese citizens fight the Coronavirus.
Apple is forecasting revenue of $ 63.67 billion for the March quarter on January 28 but the company will not be able to do so. Apple had maintained a larger map precisely in anticipation of the impact and uncertainties arising from the Coronavirus, but no one expected the current consequences.
Tim Cook also wrote a letter to employees:
The response to COVID-19 has touched the lives of many members of the Apple family and I want to thank everyone for their dedication, empathy, understanding and attention. Today, we have more than doubled our donations to support the global health response to this epidemic.
Our main concern is with the community of Apple employees, partners, customers and suppliers in China. I would also like to thank the many people from our teams who worked 24/7 to manage the overall response to COVID-19 with diligence and concern.
The offices and contact centers have reopened in China and our stores are starting to reopen, but we are experiencing a delay in the return of normal conditions compared to forecasts. This afternoon, I shared an update with our shareholder and investor community to let people know that we don't expect to meet the revenue guidelines we provided for the March quarter. Outside China, customer demand for our product and service categories has been strong and in line with our expectations. Apple is fundamentally strong and this slowdown in 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 deep gratitude goes to those who are at the forefront of the fight against this global health emergency.