Tim Cook: Coronavirus Stands as a Challenge for Apple

Apple CEO Tim Cook said at the annual shareholder meeting that the new coronavirus presents a significant challenge for the company.

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Due to the outbreak, Apple has temporarily suspended all its factories and stores in China. Earlier this month, the company said it was unable to meet its original quarterly revenue projections of more than $63 billion due to disurptions in iPhone supply and declining retail sales in China. Currently, Apple has reopened around 30 of its 42 stores in China. Suppliers and larger manufacturers are gradually returning to production, but some analysts say the impact of the virus may last through the second quarter.

According to Bloomberg, Cook did not specifically mention any future products at this year’s conference, but it is rumored that the company is working on a new 5G version of the iPhone, which will be released later this year. The report also said that Apple also plans to launch a virtual reality (VR) headset as early as 2021. It is unclear whether these plans will be affected by the outbreak.

According to a Reuters’ report, the outbreak also clouded the timeline for the iPhone 12 scheduled for release this fall. At this time of the year, Apple engineers and executives would visit China to work with foundry partners to prepare for the production of the new iPhone. Considering the current situation, their plans might be postponed due to travel restrictions to China.