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What you need to know

  • Tim Cook has said that Apple is closely watching Italy and South Korea.
  • Coronavirus outbreaks are unfolding in both of those locations.
  • He also confirmed that Apple has reopened 80% of its China stores, and that production was ramping up.

Tim Cook has said that Apple is keeping a close eye on the coronavirus outbreak in both South Korea and Italy.

As reported by Reuters:

Apple Inc is closely watching how the coronavirus outbreak is unfolding in South Korea and Italy where the company has suppliers, Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook said in an interview with the Fox Business Network.

Apple counts major Korean display makers Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and LG Electronics Inc as its suppliers.

iPhone factories in China have re-opened and are in "phase three of the ramp mode" of returning to normal operations, Cook said during the interview.

Apple sources chips from STMicroelectronics in Italy, and of course relies on both Samsung and LG for its displays.

Cook also confirmed that Apple had reopened 80% (33 out of 42) of its Apple stores in China, and that production was starting to ramp up saying:

"It will take some time, but by at large I think this is a temporary condition, not a long-term kind of thing."

Cook was asked if Apple had plans to move manufacturing away from China to places like Vietnam or Cambodia, Cook responded saying that the company's supply chain was a global operation, and that speed to market and engineering skill, as well as cost, were important. In terms of Apple's supply chain resilience he said:

"And so the question for us after we get on the other side will be, was the resilience there or not and do we need to make some changes... My perspective sitting here today is that if there are changes, you're talking about adjusting some knobs, not some sort of wholesale fundamental change."