Apple stores in China were closed in response to the coronavirus epidemic, with the Cupertino multionational that previously announced the reopening for February 10. The web pages of the stores still claim that the doors will reopen next Monday, but a reminder sent to employees, signed by Deirdre OBrien, senior vice president of Apple Stores and staff, indicates that such a reopening is unlikely.
The Chinese government had suggested February 10 as the date when businesses could resume normal operations, but it appears that Apple could take a different approach. MacGeneration, which allegedly got its hands on this reminder, says Apple is working to reopen its offices, but it may take longer for retail stores.
Apple's retail stores are actively working to reopen on a date to be determined next week. Additional decisions regarding cleanliness, health protocols and local restrictions in public spaces will be decisive. Retail teams will receive updates from their Managers on the store's opening date and other support steps we are taking.
According to the law in the memo, published by the French MacGeneration, the decision to reopen the shops will have to be taken in the working week starting February 10, and it would seem to us to exclude the possibility of reopening the shops on that precise date.
The memo goes on to say that Apple plans a gradual resumption of work:
As we work together to gradually resume working in the coming weeks, your well-being is our first priority. We are deeply grateful to everyone for facing this difficult period with the utmost empathy and understanding
CEO Tim Cook previously stated that the coronavirus epidemic would create "uncertainty" for the company, a situation that is also reflected in the guidelines for the minimum and maximum turnover expected for the current quarter, with a gap between the two amounts indicated significantly higher than that traditionally offered by Cupertino.
The closings of the stores, and those of other Apple products outlets, will affect sales in China, but it is likely that the greatest impact will be on production. In these hours Foxconn has also announced that on February 10 it will not reopen its headquarters and iPhone factory in Shenzhen. Although Apple's major suppliers are currently claiming to anticipate a resumption of production operations on February 10 – with extraordinary measures implemented to achieve the goal – some doubts as to whether it will actually happen to us are lawful.
Apple's well-known analyst, Ming Chi-Kuo, suggests that iPhone production could decline by 10% in the current quarter, while the outlook for the following quarter is still unclear.