Goldman Sachs said on Friday it expects iPhone shipment to drop 36% during the third quarter due to coronavirus-related lockdowns around the world and downgraded Apple Inc stock to “sell”.
The brokerage noted that average selling prices for consumer devices are likely to decline during a recession and remain weak well beyond the point when units recover.
“We do not assume that this downturn results in Apple losing users from its installed base. We simply assume that existing users will keep devices longer and choose less expensive Apple options when they do buy a new device,” Goldman Sachs analysts said in a note.
Earlier this week, Apple released the second generation, $399 iPhone SE. With the new device, Apple hopes it will broaden its appeal among budget-conscious customers.
Apple will release its fiscal second-quarter earnings on April 30.
Contrary to reports from South Korea and China, Goldman said it does not expect the company to launch the upcoming iPhone models until early November, as limited global travel could impede Apple’s final engineering and production process.
On the other hand, Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook was optimistic about the company’s prospects following the pandemic, according to Apple employees who attended a virtual meeting on Thursday. The company plans to reopen its retail store in South Korea.