Apple closes Wuhan store in anticipation of coronavirus infection


Apple has officially closed one of its retail stores in Wuhan, China, the city that’s at the epicenter of the deadly coronavirus outbreak.

In a transcript of the company’s revenue call – posted on financial information site Seeking Alpha – CEO Tim Cook and CFO Luca Maestri assured that Apple is closely monitoring the status and spread of the infection across China to lessen the disease’s impact. To date, Chinese officials have confirmed 132 people have died and over 6,000 have been infected by the virus.

The degree to which the outbreak will affect Apple’s production across China is still unclear, although Cook referred to suppliers in the Wuhan area as “ultimate sources” for manufacturing. If the disease continues to proliferate, Apple is expected to employ “mitigation plans to make up any expected production loss”.

Outside Wuhan, the reopening of Apple supply source factories – closed in celebration of the Chinese New Year – has been delayed from the end of this month to 10 February. In an effort to help isolate the disease, Apple has also “limited travel to business critical situations” for employees living within affected regions.

“The situation is emerging and we’re still gathering lots of data points and monitoring it very closely,” said Cook. “We have a wider than usual revenue range for the second quarter due to the greater uncertainty.”

Estimates for Apple’s fiscal 2020 second quarter revenue were reported to be between $63.0 billion (£48.4 billion) and $67.0 billion (£51.5 billion) – a direct contrast to the success of Q1, which saw the company collecting a record-breaking $91.8 billion (£70.6 billion).