Bads news for anyone due an iPhone upgrade or who wants the latest iPad Pro – Apple might not actually be reopening its doors to the public anytime soon.
Apple execs have reportedly told US retail staff that Apple Stores will stay closed and work from home arrangements will remain in place until early May, as the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the States continues to escalate.
The news comes from a memo sent out to Apple employees and seen by Bloomberg.
In the memo, Apple Senior VP of Retail and People Deirdre O’Brien explained that “flexible work arrangements will remain in place for all offices, and all retail stores will remain closed, until early May”.
According to O’Brien, Apple is “continuing to monitor local conditions for every Apple facility on a daily basis” and the company will decide when to reopen each store “on the basis of thorough, thoughtful reviews and the latest guidance from local governments and public health experts”.
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While this memo only appears to have gone out to US-based Apple workers, it wouldn’t be too far-fetched to think that the company would also keep its UK stores closed as Europe continues to fight the spread of the disease.
Just last week, Apple sent out another memo in which the company predicted that some stores outside of China could be ready to re-open in the first half of April “depending on the conditions in their community”.
While there are still just under two weeks to go until we reach that mid-April deadline, it remains unlikely that Apple will reopen its doors while the UK is under lockdown.
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The retail stores were originally scheduled to go back into businesses last Friday but remained closed in light of last week’s memo. Apple has also put Genius Bar appointments on hold and extended its 14-day returns policy in light of store closures.