Apple sold less than 500,000 iPhones in China in February, as per government figures released on Monday. This is a sharp decline from the figures recorded over the same period a year ago. Demand for iPhones has declined over the past one month as China imposed restrictions on travel and public gatherings to counter the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus.
Coronavirus continues to take its toll not only on lives but also on the profits of companies that have operations in China. Apple has a huge market in China and the sharp decline is an indication of coronavirus biting into the profits of companies over the past more than one month.
iPhone sales plunge in China
Apple sold less than half a million iPhones in China in February, as per data released by China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT). According to Reuters, Apple sold just 494,000 iPhones in February, down 60% from the total units it sold in the same month a year ago. In February 2019, iPhone sold 1.27 million iPhones in China.
The iPhone maker had projected revenues of $6 to $7 billion for the January to March quarter, following robust holiday quarter sales of iPhones. However, the company issued lower guidance for the quarter as coronavirus hit both production and demand for iPhones. Retail traffic has dropped significantly in China just days ahead of the Lunar New Year festival. The Lunar New Year is considered a major gift-giving holiday, which was marred by the outbreak of coronavirus.
Overall mobile phone sales take a hit
According to China Academy of Information and Communications Technology, the overall demand and sales for mobile phones declined in February. While Apple registered a 60% year-over-year decline in iPhone sales, Android phone sales plummeted 45%. A total of only 5.45 million Android phones were sold in February compared with 12.72 million sold during the same period a year ago.
Mobile phones brands shipped a total of only 6.34 million units in February compared with 14 million a year ago, declining 54.7%, according to CIAT. Also, these are the lowest figures recorded since 2012, when CIAT started publishing data. The maximum drop in shipments was by brands like Huawei Technologies and Xiaomi. The two collectively shipped a meager 5.85 million mobile phones in February compared with 12.72 million a year ago.