Iphone Factory ChinaSource: Apple

What you need to know

  • The coronavirus did not get much attention at Apple's shareholder meeting yesterday.
  • That's despite it dominating global headlines and impacting on Apple's business.
  • Tim Cook's only nod was to call it "a fairly dynamic situation" that had caused "a challenge" to Apple.

Despite its prevalence in global media, the coronavirus outbreak barely got a look in at Apple's annual shareholder's meeting yesterday.

As Business Insider reports:

The global coronavirus outbreak has become the biggest near-term threat to Apple's business, disrupting production of its most important product, the iPhone, and causing the company to temporarily shutter half of its retail stores in China.

But Apple glossed over the topic during its annual shareholder meeting on Wednesday, as CEO Tim Cook largely ignored the coronavirus during his talk, leaving some attendees at the event surprised and perplexed.

According to the report, Cook very briefly noted that the outbreak was "a fairly dynamic situation" that had caused "a challenge " for Apple. He further stated:

"First priority is the health and safety of our employees and our partners... That's where our energies are."

Apparently, Tim Cook said he would address questions in the Q&A section of the meeting, however, the topic never came up (four questions were submitted in advance and picked by Cook). One shareholder said they expected "prepared statements" but that there was "no detail" offered by Apple on the subject.

In terms of retail, Apple has managed to reopen 34 retail stores in China, and some of those stores are even returning to normal working hours, however, a return to normal levels of manufacturing and production are still a fair way off.

Closer to home, the mayor of San Francisco has also declared a state of emergency despite the fact there are no reported cases of the virus.

Apple has already stated that it will not meet its Q2 earnings guidelines and more recently the outbreak has thrown production of the iPhone 12 into doubt.