Apple Hit Hard on China Phone Sales, but Recoups Some Losses

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By Kim Khan – Apple shares (NASDAQ:) slumped Monday, adding to the big weakness in Wall Street’s major indices, but the megacap managed to recover some from its big plunge at the open.

Apple lost 4.5% in morning trading, but had been down about 6% when the bell rang.

That accounted for more than 95 points off the , which was down a whopping 856.

Apart from the overall fear that Covid-19 could turn into a pandemic and slam global economic growth, Apple were hit by tangible demand destruction in China, where the virus originated.

Weak mobile phone number out before the bell prompted selling.

Mobile phone brands shipped a total of 20.4 million devices that month, down 36.6% from 32.1 million in January 2019, data from the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology showed.

China’s smartphone market has been shrinking for a number of years as demand became more reliant on consumers replacing existing handsets than buying new ones. However, January’s drop was far larger than was seen in the same month last year, when sales fell 11.4%.

After trading began, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear Apple’s appeal against a verdict to by $440 million in damages for internet security patents held by patent licensing company VirnetX.

The justices rejected Apple’s appeal in the long-running case in which a federal jury in 2016 found that Apple had infringed VirnetX’s patents and awarded $302 million. A judge later increased that amount to $439.7 million including interest and other costs.

— Reuters contributed to this report.

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