Smartphone production may drop by 30% in first half of 2020

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iPhone 5G
COVID-19 may hurt the rollout of 5G devices.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Global smartphone production could fall as much as 30% during the first half of 2020, according to analysts at ABI Research.

The advisory firm’s latest report claims that while analysts previously hoped the arrival of 5G smartphones would bring a big sales boost at the end of the year, that’s unlikely to happen now that the coronavirus outbreak has paused device production and plunged the global economy into a recession.

All major Chinese plants stand ready to crank out 2020 iPhones, Foxconn says

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Coronavirus-related shutdowns continue to disrupt Chinese factories.
Chinese factories are just starting to recover from the impact of COVID-19.
Photo: Steve Jurvetson/Flickr CC

China’s production pipelines are finally getting back into full swing just in time to start building the 2020 iPhone.

Foxconn, Apple’s top iPhone assembler, says it has hired enough workers at all major Chinese plants to meet seasonal demand for iPhone production, in what could be a strong signal that the labor shortages in China caused by COVID-19 are starting to get back to normal.

Apple cancels all ‘Today at Apple’ sessions across U.S. and Canada

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Today at Apple session image
Apple stores are starting to look sparse.
Photo: Apple

Apple is continuing to take preventative measures against the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. by canceling all ‘Today at Apple’ sessions at Apple stores in the U.S. and Canada.

Earlier this week, ‘Today at Apple’ sessions in Seattle and San Francisco stores were canceled until March 29. Cult of Mac confirmed Friday that the company has canceled all further sessions at all retail locations in the U.S. and Canada for the foreseeable future.

Apple closes all 17 stores in Italy [Updated]

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milan
Apple is closed for business in Italy.
Photo: Apple

Apple is set to shutter all of its stores in Italy beginning Thursday until further notice as the country goes into total lockdown due to concerns over the coronavirus outbreak.

All 17 stores in Italy have updated their webpages showing that doors will close early Wednesday and the company isn’t saying when they will be reopened.

iPad demand booming in China as students take to online learning

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Students learn German language on iPad
Unfortunately, Apple's not able to match demand with supply.
Photo: Apple

The spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus might have negatively impacted iPhone sales in China, but it may have also helped boost demand for iPads in the country.

According to a new report, iPads have experienced a surge in demand as families buy the tablets to carry out e-learning at home due to coronavirus-related school closures.

Apple faces big challenges in building a supply chain in India

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india
Apple is doing all it can to grow in India.
Illustration: Cult of Mac

Apple became a trillion-dollar tech giant thanks to its deep and intricate ties to China for manufacturing and component supplies.

But a coronavirus that began in China has left that giant a little shaky on its feet and dizzy from renewed questions over why Apple hasn’t developed a more diverse strategy for building the world’s most popular personal computing devices.

It’s definitely not from a lack of trying as pointed out Thursday in an article by The Information, which took a deep-dive into Apple’s arduous path through India.

Apple reopens all but 4 retail stores in China as coronavirus infections fall

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chengdu
This store in Chengdu returns to normal hours on March 7.
Photo: Apple

Apple retail stores in China are slowly getting back to business as 38 of the company’s 42 retail stores are now open in an attempt to normalize business despite coronavirus concerns.

A review of the company’s retail web pages by Cult of Mac reveals Apple will expand business hours at 19 locations over the next couple of days and at least 6 stores will return to normal hours of operation.

Apple bans most employees from traveling to Italy and South Korea

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rome
Seeing the Coliseum is a no-go for Apple employees.
Photo: Sean MacEntee/Flickr

Apple has added more travel restrictions for employees this week due to concerns of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

Italy and South Korea have been added to Apple’s list of banned destinations, according to a report from Bloomberg. The company instituted a similar restriction on travel to China earlier this month to protect employees’ health.