smartphone sales in singapore
People buy the iPhone 8 at the Apple Orchard Shop in Singapore September 22, 2017
Edgar Su/Reuters

After closing down its retail stores outside of Greater China until further notice due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Apple has now revealed that it plans to reopen the stores in the first half of April.

According to a Bloomberg report, Apple has informed its staff via an internal memo that it may reopen some of its retail stores in a staggered manner starting in the first half of April. The company has also said that it is looking to extend the work from home arrangement for many employees till at least April 5.

Apple Stores will be reopened in the first half of April

“For all of our retail stores outside of Greater China, we will reopen our stores on a staggered basis. At this time, we anticipate some stores may be able to open in the first half of April depending on the conditions in their community,” Apple Senior Vice President of People and Retail Deirdre O’Brien wrote in the memo. “We will provide updates for each store as soon as specific dates are established.”

The Cupertino, California-based tech company had temporarily closed all of its 458 retail stores the world over due to fears of the coronavirus contagion. It had initially said that the Apple Stores will remain shuttered until March 27, but later extended the reopening, saying that its retail stores will remain closed until further notice.

Trump’s appeal for resuming business by Easter

It is yet to be known as to what may have prompted Apple to put a timeline on its store reopening, since it hasn’t made an official statement regarding this. However, Apple’s decision to reopen the stores in the first half of April may have something to do with President Donald Trump’s statement earlier this week, asking companies to resume regular business by Easter which falls on April 12.

Apple retail stores will not reopen all at once, but will likely be reopened gradually April onwards depending on the situation in the respective areas. The stores will likely remain closed for longer in areas where the coronavirus situation is still prevalent. Health experts continue warning against resuming business any time soon as it may lead to a spike in infections.

Apple’s strategy to reopen its stores in a staggered manner on the basis of the severity of the outbreak and extending the work from home arrangements for its employees while continuing to evaluate the situation on a weekly basis depending on the employee’s location, might actually work.

The reopening of Apple Stores will come as good news for customers who still have their iPhones or iPads stuck inside the retail stores for repairs, and for those who are planning to buy a new Apple device.



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