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Apple reopening a handful of stores this week

12.05.20, 07:11

Apple is opening a handful of retail stores two months after shutting down to help contain the coronavirus. The technology giant operates more than 250 stores across the U.S., all of which were shuttered in mid-March.

Most of Apple's stores remain closed for now, including locations in highly populated states such as New York and California and in some states that are reopening, including Georgia and Texas. But the company plans to open four locations this week:

  • Boise Towne Square, in Idaho, which opened Monday
  • King Street, in Charleston, South Carolina, which is set to open on Wednesday (10 a.m.)
  • Bridge Street, in Huntsville, Alabama, set to open Wednesday (11 a.m.)
  • The Summit, in Birmingham, Alabama, due to open Wednesday (11 a.m.)

Apple said last week that the company is monitoring local health conditions and government guidance in determining which stores to open.

The coronavirus pandemic has hurt Apple's profits this year, in part because a Foxconn factory in China that manufactures iPhones was temporarily shuttered in February. The factories have since reopened, but the closure is expected to delay the fall release of Apple's next iPhone line.

The health crisis has weighed on Apple results. The company last month reported that profits for its latest quarter fell 2% from the previous years, while iPhone sales slid 7%. Revenues grew slightly, driven by Apple's growing services business.

Apple is implementing a number of health measures as it reopens stores. Those include temperature checks for customers, face masks for both employees and customers and limiting the number of visitors who enter a store. That could cause delays for customers, according to the company. 

Apple and Google team up to develop coronavirus tracing technology

Another tool in Apple's arsenal is a contact tracing tool the company is developing with Google that will alert people when they have come into close proximity of an infected person. The technology, which is geared to iPhones and Android phones, will allow users opt in to the system and will track nearby phones, according to a Google blog post. 

"Through close cooperation and collaboration with developers, governments and public health providers, we hope to harness the power of technology to help countries around the world slow the spread of COVID-19 and accelerate the return of everyday life," the companies said in April.

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