Some Apple retail stores re-open in China after coronavirus closings

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People wearing face masks walk in front of an Apple store at a shopping mall, as the country is hit by an outbreak of the new coronavirus, in Beijing, China February 18, 2020.

Carlos Garcia Rawlins | Reuters

Apple’s retail operation in China is waking up after coronavirus-related closures.

According to Apple’s website, 29 of Apple’s 42 retail stores in Mainland China have re-opened, although many are operating on limited hours. Earlier this month, Apple temporarily shuttered all of its stores and corporate offices in China due to “an abundance of caution.”

Last week, Apple warned that it would miss its $63 billion to $67 billion estimate for March quarter revenue due to the coronavirus and efforts to mitigate its effect.

Apple pointed to the closure of its stores in China as well as limited hours and low customer traffic as reasons why demand for Apple products on the mainland had been affected. Apple also warned at the time that iPhone supply could be constrained due to issues with manufacturing in China.

UBS analyst Timothy Arcuri said in a note on Monday that Apple’s iPhone sales in China were up 5% year over year in January, significantly outperforming the rest of the Chinese smartphone market, citing Chinese government data. However, he warned that due to the shutdown of retail stores and a “gradual and uncertain pace of normalcy” that February shipments could worse than expected.

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