Apple Inc Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Tim Cook said the company has some suppliers in the Wuhan area of China impacted by the coronavirus outbreak, and is working with them to mitigate any production loss.
Cook said the impact outside of Wuhan is less clear. He said that the factories are starting back up after the Lunar Holiday on February 10, later than expected, but Apple has already factored this into its guidance.
He said Apple has partly closed one retail store in China and some that have remained open have reduced operating hours. The company is also taking precautions, including additional cleaning of stores and taking the temperature of employees.
Apple last week began limiting travel in affected areas to business-critical situations, Cook said.
Earlier on the call, Cook said Apple was closely following developments in Wuhan, and working closely with employees and partners. Apple is potentially at the heart of the issue, with millions of employees and factory workers in the region.
Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri said that the wider-than-usual range for second-quarter results is due to the uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus.
Apple’s China travel to be hit as United cuts flights
Apple Inc’s ability to send engineers to China could be constrained by United’s decision to reduce travel there amid a rising death toll from the coronavirus.
The iPhone maker buys some 50 business-class seats a day on the San Francisco to Shanghai run, one of several routes United Airlines Holdings Inc says it will start limiting starting from February 1. While Apple designs its products in Cupertino, California, most manufacturing is done in China and requires close supervision from its engineers and managers.
The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention told U.S. travellers to avoid non-essential trips to China. Apple hasn’t said if it’s limiting employee travel to the region, but reduced hours in some Chinese stores after the government extended the Lunar New Year holiday in an effort to contain the outbreak.
Apple didn’t respond to a request for comment, but Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook previously said Apple would support relief efforts to help victims of the virus.