THE World Health Organization (WHO) officially decreed yesterday (11/3), coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19). Although this was already expected, many governments and countries have increased their security measures, including the United States, where more than 1,000 cases have been confirmed.
Of course, this directly affects the operations of Apple in the country (or rather, * is already * affecting). As we reported, the company has reduced the opening hours of some stores and is instructing its employees to take some precautions – some of them new, as we will see below.
Restriction to try AirPods and Apple Watches in stores
A report from Business Insider reported that Apple is reducing experimentation with AirPods and Apple Watches in some stores as part of the effort to stem the spread of Coronavirus.
According to information, customers can still ask to try the products, but employees would have been ordered not to “proactively offer tests or encourage them”.
In fact, whenever a customer wants to try AirPods, it is necessary to make this request to an Apple employee, as recalled by Mark Gurman, gives Bloomberg – for Apple Watch this rule is not so valid, as it is more common to see Apple employees asking customers if they want to test the watch. So, what has changed is that employees can make some alerts before the test – or even convince you not to.
In areas with more severe outbreaks of the Coronavirus, such as San Francisco and Seattle, Today at Apple have been completely suspended. An Apple spokesman confirmed that the company is actually limiting crowding in stores, but declined to comment specifically on the restriction on experimenting. gadgets.
With the exception of the aforementioned regions, all other Apple stores in the U.S. remain open at this time. As we have already covered, most points in the China reopened, while all stores in the Italy are closed.
U.S. government asks tech companies for help
Yesterday, we reported that Apple and other tech giants met at White House (Washington, DC) to discuss the effects of the Coronavirus in the country. Now, we have information about what happened at that meeting, as disclosed by the POLITICAL.
According to the report, the Trump administration asked for help from some of the biggest technology companies (Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon and IBM) in coordinating and sharing information on the spread of the virus in the country. Companies were also asked to use their «technical knowledge» to help «deal with the consequences of the Coronavirus».
The meeting was attended by representatives of each of the companies, as well as White House employees and representatives of government agencies that include the US Department of Health and Human Services, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Department of Labor USA, the Medicare and Medicaid Service Centers.
The White House is working to launch a database of research related to Coronavirus and wants technology companies to help medical researchers analyze them for information. insights with artificial intelligence (AI) techniques.
Production in China resumes, but stocks worry
Founder Foxconn, Terry Gou Tai-ming, said today that the resumption of production at its factories in China «exceeded expectations», after the interruption of the manufacturing process due to the Coronavirus. The information is South China Morning Post.
The peak of the epidemic in China has passed, according to the country’s main health commission. In Hubei province, one of the epicenters of the contamination, only 8 new infections were reported on Tuesday – the first time a daily count of less than 10 was seen.
Following the slowdown in the spread of the virus, more companies have reopened in China, while authorities have eased rigid containment measures. However, for Foxconn, production problems have been replaced by US sales concerns:
In the USA, we are concerned with the market. If production resumes quickly, but consumers stop buying … that would be decisive for the economic recovery.
The executive also said he was concerned about the supply chain in Japan and South Korea, which are facing their own serious outbreaks of COVID-19. Gou also cited the rise in RAM chip prices and supply problems with displays, but did not elaborate.
via 9to5Mac, MacRumors, Reuters