The continuing outbreak of Covid-19 (coronavirus) has seen smartphone shipments in China plummet throughout February.
The China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT) registered a 54.7% year-on-year drop during the month, with just 6.3 million units shipped - the lowest level for February since CAICT began publishing figures in 2012. For the past two months, 26.7 million units were sold, amounting to a 42.1% fall.
The CAICT’s figures showed that around 8.2% of February shipments were made by multinational companies, from which it can be estimated that shipments of Apple’s iPhone were down by around 61% to 500,000. At the start of February, the US-based firm temporarily shut all of its retail stores in mainland China.
The Chinese government has imposed measures to restrict the outbreak of the virus since late January, including limiting travel, suspending factory work and requesting that citizens work from home.
Financial sector outlet SeekingAlpha noted that the Chinese smartphone sector is likely to begin recovering, with investment firm Wedbush Securities expecting demand to return to normal by the second half of the year. Apple’s 5G-ready iPhone will likely see the vendor’s fortunes recover in the market.