Feb 19, 2020 - Technology

Coronavirus hits China's tech manufacturing production across the board

Photo: Feature China/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

The novel coronavirus outbreak in China is affecting nearly every sector of tech manufacturing, leading analysts to reduce production estimates for everything from TVs and smartphones to laptops and video game consoles.

Why it matters: Apple's earnings warning on Monday was a wake-up call for investors, but the virus' impact will be felt farther and wider.

  • In a new report, analysis firm Trendforce said it was cutting its first quarter forecast for nearly all manner of high-tech goods manufactured in China. While TV and monitor production estimates got cut by only about 5% each, the firm slashed most other categories by double-digit percentages.
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Reproduced from TrendForce; Chart: Axios Visuals

Yes, but: Bloomberg reports that Apple remains on track to launch its updated low-cost iPhone next month and a new iPad Pro in the coming months, despite the virus-related slowdowns.

Go deeper: Economists warn coronavirus risk far worse than realized

Go deeper

Microsoft and other tech firms sound alarm over coronavirus impact

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

More companies are saying publicly that disruptions caused by the coronavirus are hitting their bottom lines. Microsoft warned Wednesday that its personal computing unit, which includes Windows and Surface, will likely miss revenue expectations due to a slower-than-expected return to production after the Lunar New Year.

The big picture: Although Apple was the first big tech company to warn of a financial impact from the outbreak, most industry watchers said they expected the impact to be felt broadly across the industry, which depends heavily on China for manufacturing.

Apple introduces new MacBook Air, iPad Pro

Photo: Apple

Apple unveiled several new products on Wednesday, offering up a MacBook Air with an improved keyboard and an iPad Pro with built-in support for a trackpad as well as an updated Mac mini.

Why it matters: The move marks the first major consumer tech product launch in the quarantine era, demonstrating Apple's faith that coronavirus-induced supply chain challenges are behind it and coming as many are looking for new in-home devices.

Why Apple may move to open iOS

Photo illustration: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Apple may finally allow iPhone owners to set email or browsing apps other than Apple's own as their preferred defaults, according to a Bloomberg report from last week.

The big picture: Customers have long clamored for the ability to choose their preferred apps, and now Apple, like other big tech companies, finds itself under increased scrutiny over anything perceived as anticompetitive.