Retail Stores Are Getting Closed in the U.S.
As a response to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, Apple announced that all their retail stores outside Greater China are getting closed until March 27. The announcement was made by CEO Tim Cook in a letter on March 13. Apple stock (AAPL) jumped from $265 to $278 that day.
By that decision, Apple employees are going to work remotely if their job allows, while the others who need to be present are going to follow safety measures. Also, the Apple online store will still be open at its website.
In the same letter, Cook announced that Apple’s committed donation to the pandemic reached 15 million dollars. This donation is “both to help treat those who are sick and to help lessen the economic and community impacts of the pandemic”, said Cook.
Annual Developers Conference To Be Shifted To Online Format
Last week, the County of Santa Clara Health Department recommended the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) to be postponed or canceled. In response to this, Apple announced that because of the “current health situation”, the conference in June will be entirely online.
The decision wasn’t unexpected since other big companies such as Facebook, Google, and Microsoft also decided to either take the same path or to cancel its conferences. In a statement, Apple committed 1 million dollars to San Jose organizations to offset the revenue loss caused by that shift.
Major Music Labels Signed Multi-Year Deals With Apple
According to the Financial Times, Apple signed a deal with major music labels in recent months. It was also reported that Universal Music, Sony Music, and Warner Music are among the ones who sealed a deal with the iPhone maker company.
The reports also said that this agreement does not include a bundle between Apple Music and its television service. Financial Times also said that this “super bundle” may be months away.
The deal came as a strategy for Apple to compete in streaming service with Spotify. Currently, Apple Music has more than 60 million paid subscribers, while Spotify already surpassed the 120 million mark.