Apple CEO Tim Cook: ‘It Feels to Me China is Getting Coronavirus Under Control’

Apple CEO Tim Cook is in Birmingham, Alabama today, where he spoke at an event for EdFarm, which will offer Apple's Everyone Can Code curriculum alongside civil rights education conducted through augmented reality.


Following his EdFarm speech, Cook did an interview with Fox Business. The interview is set to air in full on Friday, but in a clip shared today, Cook spoke about the impact of the coronavirus on Apple's business.

According to Cook, he believes that China is starting to get the coronavirus under control, and that he is optimistic about things returning to normal.
It feels to me that China is getting the coronavirus under control. When you look at the numbers, they're coming down day by day by day. And so I'm very optimistic there.
Cook says that Apple's suppliers in China are getting back to work and that production is ramping up.
On the supplier side, we have suppliers, you know, iPhone is built everywhere in the world. We have key components coming from the United States, we have key parts that are in China, and so on and so forth. When you look at the parts that are done in China, we have reopened factories, so the factories were able to work through the conditions of opening. They're also in ramp, so I think of this as sort of the third phase of getting back to normal and we're in phase three of the ramp mode.
In the full interview set air on Friday, Cook will comment on the possibility of the coronavirus disruptions continuing past the second quarter of the year.

Cook's comments come two weeks after Apple announced that it would not meet its revenue goals for the March quarter due to store closures in China and supply issues. Apple is expected to share more information in its next earnings call, which is scheduled for April.


This article, "Apple CEO Tim Cook: 'It Feels to Me China is Getting Coronavirus Under Control'" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Facebook Cancels May F8 Developer Conference Due to Coronavirus: What Does That Mean for WWDC?

Facebook today announced that it has canceled its F8 developer conference that was set to take place at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California on May 5 and 6.

In a statement, Facebook said that given "growing concerns" about COVID-19, the in-person component of F8 has been nixed. Instead of F8, Facebook is planning locally hosted events, videos, and live streamed content.

This was a tough call to make - F8 is an incredibly important event for Facebook and it's one of our favorite ways to celebrate all of you from around the world - but we need to prioritize the health and safety of our developer partners, employees and everyone who helps put F8 on. We explored other ways to keep the in-person part of F8, but it's important to us to host an inclusive event and it didn't feel right to have F8 without our international developers in attendance.
F8 is an event that's on the same scale as Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference, and last year, it attracted 5,000 attendees. It was also set to take place on May 5 and 6, which is just about a month ahead of when Apple is likely planning to host WWDC 2020 at the same venue. Whether Apple is considering a similar cancelation remains to be seen as WWDC is a month later, but with F8 canceled, there's a possibility.

For the last few years, Apple's WWDC events have been held at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center in early June. No concrete dates or clear indications of when the event will take place have been discovered as of yet this year, but based on past event dates, we believe June 8 to 12 is the most likely week for WWDC 2020.

The coronavirus outbreak has already caused the cancellation of major events. Mobile World Congress, a huge trade show event that takes place in Barcelona each February, was shut down. The annual Game Developers Conference in San Francisco is coming up in March and thus far, many major game companies have dropped out such as Sony, Unity, Microsoft, Kojima Productions, Facebook, and EA.

Despite the dropouts, GDC is "moving forward as planned," even though a state of emergency has been declared in San Francisco. Last year, GDC had close to 30,000 people in attendance. Pax East, another gaming convention that kicked off today, also saw many gaming companies drop out, but the event went forward.

Other events around the world are also being canceled due to coronavirus fears. The Geneva watch show (April 25-28) was canceled, according to Bloomberg, as was an event that Swatch planned to hold in February. The Baselworld trade fair (April 30 - May5) is also said to be mulling a cancellation.

Apple in mid-February said that its March quarter revenue will fall short of expectations due to device supply shortages and store closures in China caused by the coronavirus. Apple CEO Tim Cook says that Apple's "paramount concern" is its employees, partners, customers, and suppliers in China and its first priority is the health and safety of employees, customers, supply chain partners, and the communities in which it operates.

Apple has also said that it is closely monitoring the coronavirus situation.

COVID-19 has infected more than 82,000 people and there have been over 2,800 deaths, primarily in China. Earlier this week, the CDC warned Americans that it expects the virus to spread in the United States, and just yesterday, UC Davis announced that it is treating a patient in Northern California who is the first person in the U.S. believed to have contracted the virus from community exposure.


This article, "Facebook Cancels May F8 Developer Conference Due to Coronavirus: What Does That Mean for WWDC?" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Popular Mobile Game Plague Inc. Removed From App Stores in China

Ndemic Creations today released a statement acknowledging that its popular mobile game Plague Inc. has been removed from App Stores in China.


The company says it received a notice saying that Plague Inc. "includes content that is illegal in China as determined by the Cyberspace Administration of China," but no further information on regulators' objections to the game have been shared.

It's possible and perhaps even likely that the removal is linked to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak that originated in China, with regulators possibly concerned that a game intended to entertain is hitting a little too close to home given the severe ongoing impacts in that country.

As Ndemic Creations points out, however, Plague Inc. has been recognized by the U.S. CDC and other organizations for its educational impact that helps players understand how diseases spread.
It’s not clear to us if this removal is linked to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak that China is facing. However, Plague Inc.’s educational importance has been repeatedly recognised by organisations like the CDC and we are currently working with major global health organisations to determine how we can best support their efforts to contain and control COVID-19.

We are working very hard to try and find a way to get the game back in the hands of Chinese players - we don’t want to give up on you - however, as a tiny independent games studio in the UK, the odds are stacked against us. Our immediate priority is to try and make contact with the Cyberspace Administration of China to understand their concerns and work with them to find a resolution.
Despite having been released eight years ago, Plague Inc. has seen regular updates and remains a massively popular game on the App Store, placing near the top of the paid apps chart in Apple's 2019 rankings.


This article, "Popular Mobile Game Plague Inc. Removed From App Stores in China" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Apple’s iPhone 12 Preparations May Be Delayed Due to Coronavirus Travel Restrictions

At this time of year, Apple engineers and executives typically visit China as Apple's suppliers start getting ready to manufacture new iPhones, but that preparation process is delayed this year due to coronavirus travel restrictions, reports Reuters.


Production of new devices usually kicks off in the summer, but during the first months of the year, Apple employees visit China to perfect assembly processes with manufacturing partners like Foxconn. Reuters spoke to former Apple employees who said that it "could be bad" if Apple's engineers haven't been able to meet up with Foxconn engineers in China to plan iPhone 12 production.
"They probably have one assembly line they're trying things out on," said one of the former employees who asked not to be named discussing production matters.

"Are Apple's engineers with the Foxconn engineers? If they are, they're probably making progress. But if they're not, if they're quarantined, that could be bad."
People familiar with Apple's process for device prototyping to manufacturing said that work typically picks up after the Lunar New Year. By February, Apple is normally in the late stages of engineering validation, where Foxconn workers assemble a small number of devices and the manufacturing process is reviewed.

Reuters says that delays at this stage can eat into the time Apple needs to finalize orders for chips and other iPhone components that need to be made well in advance of when full production begins.

In March and April, Apple and Foxconn engineers work together to set up assembly lines and do trial runs, with final adjustments coming in April and May. One person familiar with Apple's process told Reuters that it's "very complicated" and there are "so many variables in the environment."

Supply chain experts have said that Apple still has time to keep the ‌iPhone‌ schedule on track, but the travel restrictions have made it difficult.
"There is no face-to-face work being done," an executive at a semiconductor firm that supplies smartphone companies and works with teams in China said, speaking generally about phone production cycles.

"And the word is, that's probably not going to change for another month at best. You're really talking about two lost months, which in the consumer electronics cycle is huge."
Foxconn and other Apple suppliers were shut down for multiple days in February and while factories are now up and running, they're not operating at full production capacity due to labor shortages, travel restrictions, and quarantines. Senior Foxconn officials are working remotely from Taipei and have not returned to China on a large scale.

U.S. airlines like United, which Apple often uses, have also suspended many flights to China. United will not be resuming flights to Beijing, Chengdu, Hong Kong, and Shanghai until April 24. People who do visit China are also subjected to health screenings and other restrictions when returning to the United States.

Apple has already warned investors that it will not be able to meet revenue goals for the March quarter due to device shortages and store closures in China, which have impacted device sales, and the company will provide additional info on the impact of the coronavirus during its April earnings call.

Related Roundup: iPhone 12

This article, "Apple's iPhone 12 Preparations May Be Delayed Due to Coronavirus Travel Restrictions" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Asks Shareholders Attending Tomorrow’s Meeting to Follow CDC Coronavirus Quarantine Measures

Ahead of Apple's 2020 shareholders meeting, which is set to take place tomorrow, Apple has asked attendees traveling from China to make sure they adhere to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's quarantine guidelines.


In the notice, which was shared on Twitter this morning and spotted by 9to5Mac, Apple says that it has worked in close consultation with public health experts and is following official CDC guidance.
Health and Safety Precautions
Apple is following official guidance on COVID-19 from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and working in close consultation with public health experts. We ask shareholders who have traveled to China in February to ensure they have completed the required 14-day quarantine period prior to the meeting in order to attend.
Coronavirus concerns have made people wary of attending events with a large number of people. Mobile World Congress (MWC), a major event that normally takes place in February, was canceled, and upcoming events that include the Game Developers Conference (GDC) and Pax East are seeing multiple major companies drop out.

The coronavirus, known as COVID-19, has been primarily limited to China, but in recent days, infections have spread significantly in other countries like South Korea, Italy, and Iran.

Just today, the CDC warned Americans that it expects COVID-19 to spread in the United States. More than 80,000 people worldwide have contracted COVID-19, and there have been 2,700 deaths.

Apple's shareholder meeting will take place at 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time at the Steve Jobs Theater on the Apple Park campus. Apple's shareholder meetings are first come first serve as space for attendance is limited.

Shareholder meetings are not typically interesting to the general public and Apple executives share little about Apple's products. Apple CEO Tim Cook did make a few comments last year about Apple's services business and roadmap, so similar information could be shared this year, and if there's any interesting information, we'll let MacRumors readers know.


This article, "Apple Asks Shareholders Attending Tomorrow's Meeting to Follow CDC Coronavirus Quarantine Measures" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Over Half of Apple’s Retail Stores in China Reopened Amid Ongoing Coronavirus Outbreak

Apple has now reopened 29 of its 42 retail locations in China, according to Apple's store websites in the country that were reviewed by Bloomberg. Many of Apple's stores in China have been shut down for the last few weeks due to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.


Most locations that have been reopened continue to operate on shortened hours, with some open for less than eight hours a day. Additional stores are expected to reopen as soon as this week, but there is no word on when all Apple Stores in China will be operational.

Apple last week said that its March quarter revenue will fall short of expectations because of constrained iPhone supplies worldwide and lower customer demand for Apple products in China caused by store closures.

The shuttered stores and limited hours have significantly reduced customer traffic, and though Apple's supplier factories in areas outside of the Hubei province have reopened, ramp up to full production on devices has been slower than expected.

According to a second report from Bloomberg, Apple's ‌iPhone‌ sales started dropping in January as the coronavirus spread. Numbers supplied by a UBS research note that includes official Chinese data suggests ‌iPhone‌ sales fell 28 percent compared to the prior month, which is a larger than normal decline for that time of the year.

February sales numbers are expected to be "far worse" due to supply and demand issues related to the outbreak.

Apple has said it is continuing to monitor the coronavirus situation and will provide additional information during its next quarterly earnings call in April.

Related Roundup: Apple Stores

This article, "Over Half of Apple's Retail Stores in China Reopened Amid Ongoing Coronavirus Outbreak" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

10 More Apple Stores Reopen Across China, Other Stores Outside of Beijing Remain Closed

Apple has updated its website to indicate that it will reopen 10 more stores across China, following closures due to the coronavirus outbreak that originated in Wuhan.


The stores, listed below, will reopen on February 19 for limited business hours of 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., or 12 a.m. to 6 p.m. local time until further notice, as noted by iMore.

Chengdu
Dalian
Guangzhou
Quingdao
Shanghai
Apple reopened all five of its retail stores in the Beijing area on February 14, operating on similar limited hours.

Apple has yet to announce reopening dates for its other stores in mainland China, which remain listed as closed on its website due to the viral outbreak. Apple began working toward re-opening its corporate offices and contact centers in the country last week.

Reports suggest ongoing delays from the coronavirus outbreak in China will likely impact iPhone production, in particular its upcoming low-cost iPhone, and inventories of existing models could remain low until April or longer.

The coronavirus has infected more than 75,000 people, and there have been at least 1,870 deaths, primarily in China.


This article, "10 More Apple Stores Reopen Across China, Other Stores Outside of Beijing Remain Closed" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Coronavirus Outbreak to Continue Impacting Apple’s iPhone Production Into April

Ongoing delays from the coronavirus outbreak in China will likely cause Apple to miss its schedule for mass producing the low-cost iPhone, and inventories of existing models could remain low until April or longer, according to new information shared today by Japanese site Nikkei.

‌iPhone‌ suppliers, on average, are said to be operating at 30 to 50 percent capacity at the current time, and to ramp up to full production, hurdles that include labor shortages and transportation logistics need to be overcome.


Apple was planning to begin mass production on the upcoming low-cost ‌iPhone‌ in February, but sources that spoke to Nikkei said that meeting that target is "very challenging" and production could be delayed until March.

Current rumors have suggested Apple plans to unveil the new ‌iPhone‌ at an event that's set to take place in March, perhaps on March 31, with Apple then releasing the device on April 3. Though there are issues with production, multiple sources have said the new ‌iPhone‌ is still going to launch on time.
"The suppliers are doing their best to produce and ship the [cheaper] ‌iPhone‌ within four weeks. ...The delay can't be too long, otherwise it will affect the sales strategy of Apple's new products in the second half of this year," one of the people, who has direct knowledge of the matter, told Nikkei.
Apple was hoping to have its suppliers produce 80 million ‌iPhone‌ units in the first half of 2020, including 15 million low-cost iPhones, but the company's production plan is now uncertain. Apple yesterday said that it will not meet its revenue goals for the March quarter due to constrained ‌iPhone‌ supplies and low customer demand for Apple products in China amid the outbreak.

Factories in China are counting on having more employees back at work as soon as next Monday, when a quarantine period for those who returned from outside provinces will end. Travel logistics are said to be a "major headache" at the current time, as suppliers need to change truck drivers when crossing provincial borders due to quarantine requirements.

The coronavirus has infected more than 73,000 people, and there have been 1,870 deaths, primarily in China.

Related Roundup: iPhone SE 2

This article, "Coronavirus Outbreak to Continue Impacting Apple's iPhone Production Into April" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Says March Quarter Revenue Will Fall Short Due to Coronavirus Impact

Apple today issued an update on its financial guidance for the March quarter, announcing that the company will not meet its revenue goals due to the impact of the COVID-19 coronavirus epidemic in China.
Our quarterly guidance issued on January 28, 2020 reflected the best information available at the time as well as our best estimates about the pace of return to work following the end of the extended Chinese New Year holiday on February 10. Work is starting to resume around the country, but we are experiencing a slower return to normal conditions than we had anticipated. As a result, we do not expect to meet the revenue guidance we provided for the March quarter due to two main factors.
Apple cites both constrained iPhone supplies worldwide and lower customer demand for Apple products in China as the main impacts on performance for the quarter.

On the ‌iPhone‌ supply side, Apple says all of its manufacturing partner facilities are located outside of the Hubei province epicenter for the epidemic and have reopened, the ramp-up to full production has been slower than expected.

As for customer demand in China, Apple says store closings and limited hours have significantly reduced customer traffic, although corporate offices and contact centers have reopened and online stores have remained open.

Apple says it is continuing to monitor the situation and will provide additional information on its quarterly earnings call in April. Apple also says it is more than doubling its previously announced donation to help in the public health fight against the Wuhan coronavirus.

Apple had predicted in its earnings release at the end of January that it would see revenue of $63–$67 billion for the March quarter, a somewhat wider guidance range than usual as Apple acknowledged the coronavirus situation was leading to some uncertainty, but it appears the impact will be even larger than Apple had accounted for.


This article, "Apple Says March Quarter Revenue Will Fall Short Due to Coronavirus Impact" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Global Notebook Shipments in Q1 2020 Estimated to Decrease 29-36% Following Coronavirus Outbreak

Following reports of potential production delays on iPhone components and even shipping delays for products like the Mac Pro, DigiTimes reports today that global notebook shipments could fall up to 36 percent in the first quarter of 2020 due to the coronavirus outbreak.


This includes Apple supplier Quanta Computer, which produces Apple's MacBook line. Suppliers like Quanta have moved volume production to facilities in Taiwan to meet client needs, but a component shortage is believed to continue to affect shipment numbers. This shortage is due to suppliers who are prevented from going to work following the outbreak.

This component shortage is predicted to cause disruptions to the supply chain in March. Meanwhile, Quanta is said to be moving to accelerate volume production at its new facilities in Taiwan in order to fulfill rush shipments to its clients in the United States.

Previously, global notebook shipments were predicted to fall about 17 percent in Q1 2020, but that number has been increased to between 29 and 36 percent as of DigiTimes' latest research. "Severe labor and components shortages and stagnant logistics arising from the coronavirus outbreak are derailing supply chain in China, which commands over 90% of global notebook production."


This article, "Global Notebook Shipments in Q1 2020 Estimated to Decrease 29-36% Following Coronavirus Outbreak" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums