SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Apple Inc (AAPL.O) is limiting customer purchases of iPhones over its online stores in many nations including the United States and China to a maximum of two handsets per person, checks on its internet space on Friday revealed.
FILE PHOTO: Staff stand in an Apple store without a customers after it was closed on Regents Road in London, Britain March 14, 2020. REUTERS/Simon Dawson/
The purchase caps reach loyal after the hardware maker closed all of its brick-and-mortar stores outdoor China, as the coronavirus spreads globally and forces lockdowns and limitations on public lag to contain it.
Exams on Apple’s internet space reveal that in relatively a few nations, a plunge-down menu prevents customers from buying more than two of the same model iPhone, across all devices. The last time it did so was in 2007, when the iPhone was first introduced, to stop folks from reselling them.
In mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, and Singapore, a message appears above iPhone listings informing customers that purchases will likely be exiguous to two gadgets per relate.
Apple declined to comment.
The purchase limits reach as Apple braces for a blow due to the coronavirus’ impact on sales, each due to offer chain disruptions and weak demand.
As the illness swept China, Apple closed all of its brick-and-mortar retail retailers in the country, finest reopening all of them by March 13. Foxconn (2317.TW), its most important manufacturing partner, temporarily halted operations, although founder Terry Gou has said that manufacturing has now returned to normal.
In February, Apple CEO Tim Prepare dinner wrote a letter warning investors the company would now not going meet its initial revenue projections for the its calendar Q1 earnings guidance due to the virus.
Now, whereas China’s factories have resumed operations, Apple and other hardware companies face weakening demand as the nations around the realm shutter retail stores and implement social distancing.
The coronavirus, which originated in China in late December, has since spread to 178 nations, infecting over 240,000 and killing about 10,000 globally.
On March 13, Apple announced that all of its Apple Stores outdoor of China would shut down to battle the spread of the virus.
According to Nicole Peng, who tracks the smartphone sector at research firm Canalys, Apple is likely limiting online orders to prevent scalpers from stockpiling gadgets and re-selling them on the grey market.
“This happened in the past in Asia when there may be a unusual iPhone launch and scalpers saw an alternative to promote to mainland China, where the unusual telephones have been harder to win at the time,” she said.
“Now that stores all over the realm are closed, online scalpers search for a similar alternative.”
Reporting by Josh Horwitz and Brenda Goh; Additional reporting by Krystal Hu in Recent York; Editing by Kim Coghill