We learned earlier this morning via an email to Apple employees affected by the store and office closures due to coronavirus that the re-opening date of February 10 would likely be pushed back. Now Apple has shared more details that the new plan is to open most stores and offices late next week (via Bloomberg).
A comment from Apple to Bloomberg echoes what the company’s SVP of people and retail previously told employees in a letter.
“The entire Apple family is committed to helping our colleagues, communities, suppliers, partners and customers in China,” Apple said. “As we gradually return to work, our first priority is the well-being of our teams, supplier partners and customers across China. Our thoughts continue to be with those affected by the coronavirus and those working around the clock to treat, study and contain its spread.”
Bloomberg reports that Apple Stores in China will begin opening as soon as February 13 but will have limited hours, with the majority of stores expected to re-open next Saturday. However, there may be a few stores to open on February 10 as originally planned.
Fewer specifics are known about the re-opening of Apple’s corporate offices and contact centers but Apple told Bloomberg that they are on the same timeframe of opening back up sometime next week.
As my colleague Ben Lovejoy shared this earlier today, here’s the background on how coronavirus is impacting Apple:
The store closures, and those of other outlets for Apple products, will hit sales in China, but the bigger impact is likely to be on production. Although Apple’s key suppliers are currently stating that they plan to resume operations on February 10 – with extraordinary measures being implemented to achieve it – some doubt that this will be the case or that desired production levels will be achieved.
Noted Apple analyst Ming Chi-Kuo, who has good supply-chain sources, suggests that iPhone production may be 10% down in the current quarter and that the outlook for the following quarter is unclear.
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