China's first quarter smartphone sales may halve due to coronavirus

Virus outbreak pushes up China's inflation to highest level in 8 years

Smartphone sales in China could be reduced by as much as 50 percent in the first quarter of 2020 because of the impact the coronavirus outbreak is having on the retail and manufacturing sectors, according to new research.

The virus outbreak, which has killed more than 900 people and roiled China's manufacturing industry, comes as top smartphone vendors such as Huawei had hoped China's 5G rollout plans this year would help the world's biggest smartphone market rebound after years of falling sales.

The virus outbreak has claimed more than 1000 lives and disturbed China's manufacturing industry.

Canalys said in a report last week: "Given that large-scale public events are not held in China (to control the epidemic), manufacturers" planned product launches will be canceled or postponed. Because most major handset vendors either have factories in China or source key components from the world's most populous country, practically everyone's numbers are expected to decline in Q1 2020 compared to the January - March 2019 timeframe.

Virus outbreak pushes up China's inflation to highest level in 8 years

In 2019, the Chinese economy grew at its worst pace in 29 years, expanding 6.1 percent from a year earlier, with a slowdown in the nation's exports weighing on domestic demand. IDC forecasts a 30 percent drop.

Apple Inc said last week it is extending its retail store closures in China and has yet to finalise opening dates, as Foxconn, which assembles iPhones, struggles to fully resume factories. Foxconn, the main iPhone assembler, is also working to fully restore the factory.

According to analysts, factories must resume production to their full capacity without delay, as this could hamper brands' ability to make their latest products available in the market. Huawei, China's largest smartphone supplier, says its production was "normal" but did not elaborate.

Xiaomi did not respond to requests for comments. It will also affect the product launch times in the mid- and long-term'. TrendForce expected quarterly smartphone shipments Apple within 41 million units, which is approximately 10% below originally estimated at 45.5 million units. As you know, its main production base in Vietnam. Similarly, production forecasts for Oppo and Vivo were revised to 2.4 million and 1.7 million units, respectively.

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