Goldman Sachs is warning of a sharp decline in Chinese smartphone demand this year, with little chance that popular new iPhone models will offset the pain felt by Apple.
“There are multiple signs of rapidly slowing consumer demand in China which we believe could easily affect Apple’s demand there this fall,” Goldman analyst Rod Hall wrote in a note Sunday, as quoted by CNBC.
The expected dent in China sales will likely mean an earnings miss, Hall said.
“Much of Apple’s upside potential in our thinking was centered on Chinese demand for larger screen sizes,” the analyst wrote. “Should weak consumer demand persist and impact the higher end of the market Apple’s potential to beat and raise in FQ4’18 earnings is likely reduced.”
Hall said that fourth-quarter earnings per share could miss Goldman’s current estimate by 4%.
While there were some signs that the Chinese smartphone market improved in the second quarter, Goldman’s forecast for third-quarter unit sales sees a year over year decline of 15% in the third quarter.