Apple is revising its quarterly guidance downward not just a as a result of lowered sales in China because of the coronavirus, but also because of production problems in the country that are just now starting to be overcome.
As Apple deals with interruption of the COVID-19 epidemic in China, its Android competitors face all the same issues; except that they make far less money and operate on much thinner margins across fragile shipment volumes.
Apple partner Foxconn is reportedly working to return its China-based production capabilities to half strength by the end of February, a move that would bring vital supply lines back to life after being shut down due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Mastercard has been approved by the People's Bank of China to begin operating its bank card clearing business in China, opening up the potential for Apple to expand its self-branded Apple Card in the country.
The outbreak of the coronavirus, now infecting tens of thousands of people, has stoked fears that Apple would be dramatically affected both from lost sales in its China and interruptions to its component supply chain. However, while Apple has its work cut out for it it also has a uniquely proficient operations team to manage crisis events, one that has been challenged before.
The local authorities of Shenzhen have denied reports it is blocking Foxconn from reopening on February 10 over fears of spreading the coronavirus further, claiming it is still working with the Apple assembly partner on how to enable production to proceed while keeping workers safe.
Apple assembly partner Foxconn has been told by Chinese authorities it cannot open its production facilities in China due to the coronavirus outbreak, due to the "high risks" of infection determined following an inspection by public health experts.
Apple's Deirdre O'Brien has written to Apple Store staff in China to explain the company's plans for reopening in China under the ongoing coronavirus threat, and how the date for reopening stores is still to be determined.
Production of the iPhone could be disrupted by the coronavirus outbreak if things get much worse, with Apple assembly partner Foxconn reportedly halting the majority of its production in China until February 10.
Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is starting to see disruption in the mobile phone market as a result of the Coronavirus, and has slightly dialed back iPhone shipment expectations for the first calendar quarter of 2020.
While Ming-Chi Kuo still has a positive view on Apple and the iPhone supply chain, he views the Corona virus as a significant threat to the company, and has detailed specifically what he feels will be of the most impact.
Apple manufacturing partner Foxconn on Tuesday said provisions have been made to meet production obligations in China as the region faces a deadly coronavirus outbreak, a situation the iPhone maker is closely monitoring.
Apple CEO Tim Cook on Tuesday discussed fallout from the coronavirus outbreak in China, saying the developing situation has so far caused at least one Apple Store to shut down and limited employee travel.