Apple limits online purchases in Taiwan, other markets

TAIPEI (CNA) — Apple has announced it is limiting online purchases of select iPhone models in Taiwan and in other markets, amid disruptions to its supply chain.

On its website in Taiwan, Apple said Friday that consumers will be limited to online purchases of no more than two of any of its latest iPhone models — the iPhone 11, the iPhone 11 Pro and the iPhone 11 Pro Max — that were launched last September.

Customers can also buy no more than two of any of its earlier iPhone models — the iPhone XR, the iPhone 8 and the iPhone 8 Plus — per online purchase.

The purchase limit for the new iPad Pro, which was unveiled on Wednesday, has also been set at two, while no more than five of the latest MacBook Air and the Mac mini can be bought at a time.

International news media reported the purchase limits have also been applied in several other markets such as the United States, China, Hong Kong and Singapore.

No purchase limits were set for the Apple Watch and earlier iPad models.

The last time Apple put limits on purchases was in 2007, when the iPhone was introduced for the first time, to prevent people from reselling them.

Analysts said the quotas were triggered by a fall in shipments from Apple’s suppliers with production facilities in China after authorities there imposed lockdowns in a number of cities to contain the new coronavirus epidemic, disrupting production.

There are also fears that the growing intensity of the epidemic in Europe and the United States could lead Apple to postpone the launch of the next generation of iPhones, a U.S. brokerage has said in a research note.

Apple usually unveils its new iPhones in September and puts them on sale soon after the launch.

As a result, the brokerage lowered its growth forecast for iPhone shipments in 2020 to 3 percent from 7 percent previously, and cut its target prices on shares of three Taiwanese iPhone assemblers — Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Pegatron Corp. and Wistron Corp.

The target price for Hon Hai shares has been cut to NT$95 (US$3.14) from NT$105, from NT$72 to NT$62 for Pegatron shares and from NT$26 to NT$18 for Wistron shares, the brokerage said.

On Friday, Hon Hai closed up 6.79 percent to end at NT$70.80, Pegatron ended up 7.63 percent at NT$51.80, and Wistron closed up 9.38 percent at NT$20.40 as the Taiwan Stock Exchange staged a strong rebound.

The market was boosted after the National Stabilization Fund was authorized a day earlier to step in to shore up the market amid global volatility.