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Apple says coronavirus has hit the company’s sales hard

Apple is not expecting to meet its March quarter sales predictions, due to the affect of the coronavirus on supply chains, the company says. 

Almost 2000 people have been killed by the virus in China, which has reportedly now infected around 72,000 people. Apple closed shops in China, the Chinese Lunar new Year holiday was extended across workplaces and the virus’ impact on tech companies has been sizeable as a result.

Related: Apple coughs up €25 million for slowing down iPhones

Apple’s late January forecast predicted that the company would make between $63bn and $67bn in revenue for the quarter that ends in march. Now, because of the knock-on effect of the virus, this does not seem likely (via Reuters).

The change to expectations has been sudden and sharp, making even those relatively recent predictions inaccurate.

“The magnitude of this impact to miss its revenue guidance midway through February is clearly worse than feared,” said analyst Daniel Ives, from Wedbush Securities.

The previous quarter for Apple was a strong one, with good iPhone sales figures and impressive sales on wearables too.

One of the key setbacks for Apple has been the virus’s affect on their main supplier, Foxconn. The company had a slow return to work after the Lunar New Year holiday because the sophisticated air conditioning it used was deemed particularly risky to employees − as it could spread the virus quickly around the factory.

The same air conditioning remains crucial to the manufacturing process however, as Apple seeks to ensure no dust winds up in the workings of the devices.

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The virus’ impact on the wider industry has been most pointedly shown by the cancellation of MWC 2020. The trade show in Barcelona was set to be a huge showcase for smartphone and mobile-related technologies but, as more and more brands pulled out due to coronavirus fears, the decision was eventually made not to go ahead with the show.

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