Apple Inc’s revenue may take a small hit this year from China’s recent move to curb the use of iPhones by state employees, Wall Street analysts said on Friday.
Apple AAPL-Q shares tumbled 6.4 per cent over the last two days, wiping $190-billion from its market capitalization, following news Beijing ordered some central government employees in recent weeks to stop using iPhones at work.
Morgan Stanley analyst Erik W Woodring said Apple’s share losses were “overdone” as he does not believe the curbs will lead to something broader. He added the worst case scenario was a 4 per cent revenue hit and a 3 per cent earning impact for the company.
“China is critical to Apple’s success, but Apple is also critical to the Chinese economy. While the potential for a broad decoupling between Apple and China in this multipolar world clearly exists, we don’t believe recent headlines are necessarily foreshadowing this ‘worst case’ scenario,” Woodring said.
BofA Global Research estimated a headwind of around 5 million to 10 million iPhone units if China were to enforce the ban and added the impact would be higher if the phones get banned from being carried into official workplaces.
Beijing’s move coincides with Apple’s rival Huawei Technologies recently launching its Mate 60 Pro 5G smartphone. Analysts said U.S. sanctions on Huawei, in place since May 2019, hit the company’s supply chain, helping Apple increase iPhone shipments to China and grab market share.
J.P.Morgan said China’s restrictions will make it tougher for Apple to continue to gain market share in China. BofA estimated a $0.11 to $0.34 earnings per share hit to Apple if Huawei was able to gain market share from the iPhone maker.