In an interview posted on Fox Business, Apple CEO Tim Cook has addressed the outbreak of coronavirus, officially called Covid-19, and how it has affected Apple’s business for the year.
Cook began by addressing the human impact of the outbreak, and the important role health professionals are playing in combating and treating the disease. Then he went on to quell concerns over the issues the outbreak has caused to Apple’s business. Apple previously announced that it is unlikely to meet its second-quarter revenue forecast for this year due to having to stop production in China and having to close its retail stores there.
Last month, Apple also took steps to mitigate the impact of the outbreak on its businesses including sourcing alternate supplies and adjusting to the delayed restart of Chinese businesses after the Lunar New Year.
Cook assured people that the company was getting back on track, however. “In terms of our business, here’s what we’re saying to give you a flavor for what’s happening on the ground — we had closed stores, all of our stores,” he said. “Now we’ve reopened the vast majority of them. And so we were able to put the necessary conditions in place to reopen the store. We’ve reopened the vast majority of them, over 80%.”
As well as reopening retail stores, the company is beginning to reopen its production factories as well. “When you look at the parts that are done in China, we have reopened factories,” Cook said. “So the factories were able to work through the conditions to reopen. They’re reopening. They’re also en-ramp. And so I think of this as sort of the third phase of getting back to normal.”
He was also confident that the outbreak would not affect Apple in the long term and that the company would be able to recover from these short term issues. “Things are going pretty much like we thought they would go there in terms of bringing things back,” Cook said. “And so it will take some time, but by and large I think this is a temporary condition, not a long term kind of thing. You know, Apple is fundamentally strong, so that’s how I see it.”
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