Apple in levy warning

A"wide range" of Apple Inc products including the Apple Watch would be affected by proposed US tariffs on Chinese goods, the company told US trade officials, but gave no sign of an impact on its iPhone cash cow.

By Reuters
  • Published 9.09.18
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Customers look at Apple devices in a Tokyo store. (Reuters)

New York: A"wide range" of Apple Inc products including the Apple Watch would be affected by proposed US tariffs on Chinese goods, the company told US trade officials, but gave no sign of an impact on its iPhone cash cow.

Apple did not disclose specific revenues for most of the affected products, but of those the Apple Watch may be the biggest seller. It brought in about $6.1 billion in revenue last year, according to an estimate from analyst firm Bernstein. That represents a small portion of Apple's $229 billion in overall sales.

Apple laid out the impact on its products of the Trump administration's proposed tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods in an unsigned letter it submitted on Wednesday to US officials as part of a public comment period.

On Friday, President Donald Trump, speaking aboard Air Force One, said that he has tariffs on an additional $267 billion in Chinese goods "ready to go on short notice if I want".

Cell phones, the biggest US import from China, have so far been spared, but would be hit if Trump activates the new $267 billion tariff list.

AirPods headphones, some of Apple's Beats headphones and its new HomePod smart speaker also face levies as part of the proposed tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, according to the letter submitted on Wednesday.

"Our concern with these tariffs is that the US will be hardest hit, and that will result in lower US growth and competitiveness and higher prices for US consumers," Apple said in the letter.

Apple did not respond to requests for comment.

The letter did not mention the iPhone, which accounted for about two-thirds of Apple's $229 billion in revenue in its most recent fiscal year. The letter also made no mention of the iPad, which brought in $19.2 billion in sales in the most recent year, or most of its Mac computers, which generated $25.8 billion.

Apple did say its MacMini, a low-priced computer, would be affected.

Many Apple accessories, such as mice, keyboards, chargers and even leather covers for iPhones and iPads would face tariffs, Apple said. Reuters reported in July that the Apple Watch was likely to be affected by the tariffs.