Analysts are currently uncertain about how the coronavirus might affect Apple’s sales and its supply chain. And the Bank of America (BofA) has said that Apple’s 5G iPhone could see its Autumn release date delayed by up to a month as a result of the virus.
Apple’s 5G offering has been highly anticipated, and a further delay won’t be good news as companies such as Samsung and Huawei already have 5G devices on the market.
BofA had a conversation with an expert on the company’s supply chain, Elliot Lan. Lan revealed that he expects that the launch of the iPhone SE2 will be delayed “by a few months” due to “both supply issues as well as the weaker demand environment from COVID-19”.
BofA analyst Wamsi Mohan went on to say that the launch date depends on “how production ramps back up in April and May”.
All of this uncertainty has resulted in Apple shares falling 4% on Friday. The stock has fallen 13% since its record close on the 12th February. And after shares falling on Friday, Deutsche Bank cut its price target to $295 from $305, due to “considerable uncertainty” regarding the coronavirus.
Apple’s Q2 results are due at the end of next month, and investors will certainly be watching eagerly. Earnings consensus has dropped 9.6% over the past month with revenue down 5.5%.
UBS on Friday wrote that “the risk of lower demand in the near-term is increasing” for Apple.
However, it isn’t all bad news. Nomura Instinet analyst Jeffrey Kvaal stood by his comments regarding Apple’s supply chain recovery.
“The risk of a major supply shock is declining,” Kvaal wrote. “Supply constraints seem likely to be short term in nature. We hope and expect that potential demand declines are less severe.”