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‘Only temporary’: Apple CEO brushes off coronavirus concerns

(Source: Getty, AAP)

As the Wuhan coronavirus, or ‘Covid-19’ takes a chunk out of Apple’s revenue forecast, the tech giant’s CEO Tim Cook has sent employees an uplifting message.

The viral outbreak has seen demand for iPhones – which generates most of Apple’s revenue – drop as Apple stores in China are either closed, operating with reduced hours or fewer customers.

But in an email, Cook assured staff that the economic impact would not be for long, and that the safety of staff and customers were “paramount”.

Here’s his email memo to staff:

Team,


The response to COVID-19 has touched the lives of so many in the Apple family, and I want to thank everyone for their dedication, empathy, understanding, and care. Today, we more than doubled our donation to support the historic and global health response.


Our paramount concern is with the people who make up Apple’s community of employees, partners, customers, and suppliers in China. I also want to recognize the many people across our teams who have been working around the clock to manage Apple’s global COVID-19 response with diligence and thoughtfulness.


Corporate offices and contact centers have reopened across China, and our stores are starting to reopen, but we are experiencing a slower return to normal conditions than we had anticipated. This afternoon, I shared this update with our community of shareholders and investors to note that we do not expect to meet the revenue guidance we provided for the March quarter. Outside of China, customer demand across our product and service categories has been strong to date and in line with our expectations. Apple is fundamentally strong, and this disruption to our business is only temporary.


Our first priority - now and always - is the health and safety of our employees, supply chain partners, customers, and the communities in which we operate. Our profound gratitude is with those on the front lines of confronting this public health emergency.


Tim

Apple’s revenue for the January-March quarter was estimated to be between US$63 billion to US$67 billion.

The company has said that all its iPhone manufacturing sites in China have reopened, as have its contact centres and corporate offices.

–with Bloomberg

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