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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A warning from Apple on Monday that it would not meet its quarterly earnings forecast shows how quickly the coronavirus is creating real problems for the tech industry.

Why it matters: The virus is still in what could be the early stages and is already stressing supply chains and causing conference cancellations.

Driving the news:

  • Apple warned Monday that the virus is limiting iPhone production and hurting demand within China for all of its products. The company said revenue would be less than its prior forecast, but declined to offer a new prediction.
  • Nvidia cut its quarterly revenue forecast by $100 million, citing the impact of the virus.

Between the lines: Apple may be unique among U.S. tech companies in also counting on China for a large chunk of sales, but the slowdown in production is likely to be felt by a wide swath of the industry, which relies heavily on China for production. Apple and other firms had already said this quarter would be hard to predict given uncertainties resulting from the virus.

Threat level: It's still too soon to forecast how large the impact will be, but there are lots of reasons to imagine it will be significant, even assuming the outbreak doesn't get worse. China has one of the biggest economies in the world and is responsible for even more of the world's tech production.

  • As Apple said in its statement and the Financial Times reported last week, even as Chinese manufacturers are returning to work, they are doing so in a phased manner.
  • Startups and smaller hardware makers could be hurt worse, as larger companies will get priority in a capacity crunch at contract manufacturers.

What they're saying: Lots of experts predicted more companies will be forced to lower short-term financial forecasts due to the virus.

  • "Apple is the first but won't be the last company to pre-announce they'll miss their quarterly numbers," tech industry veteran Dare Obasanjo said in a tweet. "Pure software companies may avoid impact via remote work but any manufacturing or retail dependent on China will take a hit."
  • However, longtime industry watchers also predicted that the virus may also become an easy scapegoat for companies with other business shortcomings.

Meanwhile: Concerns about the spread of the virus are having a big impact on industry gatherings around the globe.

Go deeper: Economists warn coronavirus risk far worse than realized

Go deeper

"Atmospheric river" to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood

A map depicting 24-hour preciptation forecast (inches) ending Monday at 5a.m. local time. Photo: NOAA

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are set dump historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest from this weekend, forecasters warn.

Why it matters: A strong atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, is predicted to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood.

10,000 trees near giant sequoia groves to be removed after fires

A firefighter looks up at a giant sequoia tree after fire burned through the Sequoia National Forest near California Hot Springs, California, on Sept. 23. Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

"Upwards of" 10,000 trees near giant sequoia groves have been "weakened by drought, disease, age, and/or fire" and must be removed in the wake of California's wildfires, the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks announced.

Why it matters: The damage to these trees, considered "national treasures," and work to remove them means a nearby key highway must remain closed to visitors as they have "the potential to strike people, cars, other structures, or create barriers to emergency response services," per a statement from the national parks.

Obama stumps for McAuliffe, urges Virginians not "to go back to the chaos"

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Former President Barack Obama framed a Nov. 2 gubernatorial race as a bellwether for the Democratic Party and the country, telling a crowd at a campaign event for Terry McAuliffe on Saturday that "I believe you, right here in Virginia, are going to show the rest of the country and the world that we're not going to indulge in our worst instincts."

Why it matters: With just over a week to go before Election Day in the Commonwealth, McAuliffe is bringing out the big guns. The 44th president appeared on the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University to urge supporters to get to the polls.