Apple’s retail outlets worldwide, with the exception of the Greater China region, will be closed “until further notice,” the tech giant said.
The company previously said it was closing down almost 500 stores worldwide until March 27 as a precaution against the spread of the coronavirus. Now, Apple indicated, it could be much longer than that.
For many Apple customers, the stores closures happen at an inopportune time — as millions of people are working from home temporarily amid the coronavirus crisis. Apple Stores feature hands-on tech support from Genius Bar staff for malfunctioning or busted iPhones, computers and other products.
“We are committed to providing exceptional service to our customers,” a message on Apple’s website currently reads. The company is directing customers to its online store or app to get free delivery on product purchases. For service and support, Apple customers can visit support.apple.com or call (800) 275-2273.
In the Greater China region, Apple shut down its retail stores starting in early February and had reopened all 42 of them by last Friday (March 13). At the end of 2019, the company operated 510 stores worldwide.
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It seems likely that the broad shuttering of Apple Stores will be another factor that hurt sales for the current quarter. The tech giant had warned investors in mid-February that it would miss revenue targets for the quarter ending March 28 because of coronavirus-related disruptions. In China, iPhone sales plummeted 61% in February, according to government data.
(Pictured above: Apple Store in Kingston-Upon-Thames, South West London)