The company is now projecting a sales increase of 1% to 3% this year, Chairman Young Liu told Bloomberg News in a text message. That’s down from a Jan. 22 forecast of 3% to 5%, before the epidemic spread around the globe, and lags the 5.4% average of analysts’ projections.
Foxconn’s Zhengzhou plant won’t resume production until February 10 following an extended Lunar New Year break, and the company now says that workers returning from outside Henan province will be sequestered for 14 days, while staff who reside within the province will be isolated for one week.
The manufacturer previously claimed the viral outbreak had had a “fairly small impact” on iPhone production, suggesting its factories in other countries like Vietnam, India, and Mexico had been able to fill the gap.
Apple last week closed all of its corporate offices, stores, and contact centers in mainland China through February 9 due to the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak. Apple has around 10,000 direct employees in China, across its retail and corporate divisions.
Close to 60 million people remain under lockdown in China. With the virus death toll rising in recent days, the goal of people returning to work on February 10 is looking increasingly less certain. As a result, the contagion is expected to disrupt Apple’s Chinese iPhone supply chain as well as dampen consumer demand and overall economic growth.
The outbreak has killed 492 people worldwide, the majority of which are in China, and infected more than 24,500 people across 25 countries.