Business Apple 'closely monitors' the coronavirus - BBC News

Apple ‘closely monitors’ the coronavirus – BBC News

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Apple chief Tim Cook said the company is “closely monitoring” the coronavirus outbreak, which has clouded its forecast for the next quarter.

The company has limited trips and a reduced schedule in China, while its suppliers’ factories remain closed for longer than expected.

“The situation is emerging and we are still collecting a lot of data,” Cook said.

Cook made the comments after Apple reported a record quarter.

Apple said sales in the last three months of 2019 increased 8% year-on-year to $ 91.8 billion (£ 70.5 billion), while net earnings increased 11% to reach $ 22.2 billion.

The gains were driven by the demand for iPhones and accessories such as watches and AirPods and marked a change from recent performance, which had disappointed with weak iPhone sales.

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In the last quarter, iPhone sales increased by almost 8%, while sales of portable devices such as watches and AirPods increased by 44%, with such a strong demand that it created shortages.

Overall, Apple said it earned about $ 79 billion of products and $ 12.7 billion of services, including Apple Pay, the new Apple TV + streaming service, the Apple Arcade game service and the app store .

The growth of almost 17% in services disappointed some analysts, who also noted that the company had offered little information about the response to Apple TV +.

Even so, the overall results exceeded Wall Street expectations, sending shares up to almost 3% in commerce after hours.

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Morten Tyldum and Michelle Dockery speak on the Winter Press Tour of the Association of Television Critics about the new television series Defending Jacob, which will premiere in April on Apple TV +

“While [streaming] it’s an intriguing area to watch, it would be a mistake to lose focus on the core business, and Apple is still a hardware business, “said Sophie Lund-Yates, capital analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown.

Growth was strongest in Europe, where sales rose 14%. They increased 11% in America and Japan, and 3% in the company’s largest Chinese region, which includes Taiwan and Hong Kong.

Apple iPhones dabbled in the Chinese market at the end of 2019, amid a wider 7% decline in the number of smartphones sold last year, according to research firm Canalys.

“There is still a strong attraction factor for Apple products, at the right price, given the strength of the hardware and service ecosystem,” said Nicole Peng, vice president of mobility for Canalys.

The firm said it expected sales of between $ 63 billion and $ 67 billion in the first three months of 2020. The range was wider than normal due to the outbreak of coronavirus, Cook said.

While Apple has “some” suppliers in Wuhan, Cook said the firm has alternative sources in those cases. The impact on suppliers outside of Wuhan is “less clear,” with the reopening of the Chinese New Year currently delayed until February 10, he said.

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