Apple’s China iPhone sales up 5% YOY in January despite coronavirus

According to UBS Investment Research’s analysis of Chinese government data on Monday, Apple’s iPhone sales in China actually climbed 5% vs. January 2019, even as they dropped more than usual in January as the impact of the coronavirus outbreak began to spread.

Apple's iPhone sales in China up 5% YOY in January . Image: Apple's iPhone 11 Pro Max
Apple’s flagship iPhone 11 Pro Max in Midnight Green

Mark Gurman for Bloomberg:

Demand for the product fell 28% compared with the previous month, a bigger decline than usual for that time of year, according to a UBS research note citing official Chinese data.

“February numbers are likely to be far worse due to both supply and demand issues related to the virus outbreak,” UBS analyst Timothy Arcuri wrote in the note… [Apple had] closed all of its 42 physical stores in mainland China due to the outbreak. It is beginning to reopen them now.

Overall January smartphone shipments in China slumped 37% year over year, according to numbers from the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology.

UBS’s Arcuri said iPhone sales climbed 5% in the same period, thanks to its online stores and easier comparisons to the previous holiday period which was marred by trade war tensions.

[MDN Ed.: Bold emphasis added above.]

MacDailyNews Take: Apple’s China iPhone sales were up 5% YOY in January, yet Bloomberg‘s headline: “Apple’s China iPhone Sales Dropped in January as Virus Emerged.” Interesting choice.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]


  1. Stock drops because this headline and stat is merely a salve to the reality on the street.

    Near the corona “news wave” onset, Ming-Chi Kuo predicted a 10% drop in iPhone shipments for the quarter. As of today, stock price is showing a similar percentage drop and virus appears to be far from a stasis.

    1. Don’t know why anybody is worried. Presidential Medal of Freedom laureate Rush Limbagh assured us today that this is all anti-Trump hype, because Covid-19 is no worse than a common cold.

      A common cold that kills one out of every 35 to 50 people who catch it.

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