Apple’s 5G iPhone Launch May See Coronavirus Delay, BofA Says

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Apple’s 5G iPhone Launch May See Coronavirus Delay, BofA Says

  • Firm cites supply-chain expert, who says month delay possible
  • Shares fall 3.8% pre-market, stock has recently trended lower

Apple Inc.’s highly anticipated 5G iPhone could see a delayed release as a result of the coronavirus, according to BofA, which cited a conversation with an expert on the company’s supply chain.

The expert, Elliot Lan, wrote that the “the iPhone 5G launch in the fall could see a month of delay,” and that he expects the launch of the iPhone SE2 will be delayed “by a few months” due to “both supply issues as well as the weaker demand environment from COVID-19.”

According to BofA analyst Wamsi Mohan, the launch timing for upcoming models will “depend on how production ramps back up in April and May.”

Shares of Apple fell 3.8% in pre-market trading on Friday. The stock has dropped more than 10% from a record close in February, with most of the selling driven by the coronavirus. Analysts are concerned about the impact it could have on Apple’s supply chain, as well as its sales.

Also on Friday, Deutsche Bank cut its price target to $295 from $305, citing “considerable uncertainty” related to the outbreak.

Earlier this week, iPhone maker Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. said it expects its Chinese plants to begin operating normally by the end of March.

BofA reiterated its buy rating and $350 price target on Apple, citing its “large cash balance/optionality,” an expected buyback authorization, and the 5G cycle.