When it announced the closure of all its stores around the world (outside of China) due to the pandemic of Coronavirus (COVID-19), Apple adopted a careful speech: initially, the spaces would remain closed for two weeks, but then, with the advance of the outbreak, this was extended indefinitely. For now we have an idea of when the first stores will be able to function again.
According to a report by Bloomberg, Apple will start reopening stores in first half of april. The information was disclosed among company employees in a note written by Deirdre O’Brien, Apple’s vice president of retail:
We will reopen our stores in stages. At this time, we anticipate that some stores may be reopened in the first half of April, depending on the conditions of each community. We will provide updates for each store as soon as specific dates are set.
The reopenings, therefore, will not happen all at once. Apple will analyze the situation of each store / location on a case-by-case basis, taking into account factors such as the situation of the Coronavirus in the area and the guidelines of local governments / public bodies. Naturally, it is to be expected that the first stores to reopen will be in countries with low infection rates, such as Singapore and South Korea; the United States it’s the Brazil, on the other hand, they should have to wait a little longer.
On the same note, O’Brien extended the “flexible work” period (that is, work done from home, at alternative times) to the day April 5th – this applies to all employees whose activities do not need to be carried out in Apple’s own spaces. From that date, the cases will be analyzed individually to extend or not the term once again.
Production in India compromised
Meanwhile, the government of India issued a quarantine order valid for its entire colossal population of 1.3 billion people. As a result, all Indians will need to stay home for the next 21 days – except for essential activities, such as purchasing groceries and medical visits.
This, of course, will represent a huge shock to the production pace of the iPhone XR in the country: as is known, the device is one of the only ones produced (in parts) outside China, in a complex of factories in Foxconn in the city of Chennai, in eastern India. Like lockdown, factory activities will be almost completely stopped.
There are still no concrete predictions or figures on how the production of the device could be affected, but Apple will certainly comment – directly or indirectly – on this in the coming weeks.
Apple volunteers create website
Meanwhile, volunteers from a number of technological giants (Apple, Amazon, Google and others) joined forces to help combat COVID-19. In partnership with Boston Children’s Hospital, the professionals created, developed and put on the air (in just six days!) The COVID Near You website, which aims to gather data on the spread of the virus in the USA. The information is CNBC.
When opening the site, the user must answer a short questionnaire, first stating whether he is feeling well or not; from there, it is necessary to provide some other information, such as symptoms (if any), day when the malaise started, if the user received flu vaccine, if it is in quarantine, age, gender and location. For now, the site only processes data from US users.
The idea of the initiative is to create an infection map of the country – something that cannot be done by the authorities because, as already widely publicized, the health system there is unable to test all patients with symptoms of COVID-19, giving preference to those in any of the risk groups. With the data collected by the website, specialists and health professionals will be able to outline more localized strategies for containing the virus and treating patients.
Good initiative, isn’t it?
via AppleInsider, Apple World Today
Update, for Eduardo Marques Mar 25, 2020 at 09:53
According to the Bloomberg, both Foxconn and Wistron (another Apple partner that makes products in India) suspended all production at their factories there because of lockdown ordered by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Foxconn will suspend operations until April 14; Wistron said the company is also adhering to the prime minister’s request, but did not comment on exactly which products are affected by the suspension of production – however, we know that it also assembles older iPhones in the country.