Apple has a lot to celebrate. Strong sales of the iPhone 12 series propelled Apple past Samsung in the smartphone shipping league charts and into first place. The Apple iPhone 11 was the most popular phone in the world last year, and while it hasn't been the beneficiary of a GameShop style short squeeze, the stock has risen 67.6% over the last year. CNBC says that today, for the first time since the pandemic started to hit the U.S. last March, all 270 stateside brick and mortar Apple Stores are open for business. On Monday, Apple reopened all of its stores in Texas which were the remaining stateside units that were closed by the coronavirus outbreak.
check the Apple Stores webpage first at www.apple.com/retail. If a store is not fully open, the website will say, "We’re currently open for pickup of online orders and Genius Support by making an appointment. We are unable to welcome walk-in customers at this time, but look forward to welcoming you for pickup and support." Meanwhile, at all locations Apple is providing face masks to shoppers, touchless temperature checks, physical distancing, occupancy limits, and continuous deep cleaning.However, Apple is still not allowing customers to simply walk into all of the stores to shop. Some services, including shopping, might still require an appointment first depending on the Apple Store you're heading to. The company suggests that you
It was March 13th last year when Apple started closing Apple Stores outside of China. Originally, the shutdowns were supposed to last only two weeks and end on March 27th. However, as the pandemic continued unabated it was obvious that the lockdown would last for months, not weeks. And while all U.S. Apple Stores are now considered to be open, there are still 12 in France and two in Brazil that remain closed. A pair of Mexican stores will reopen tomorrow.
When Apple first opened its stores, some were converted to an Express storefront layout with a limited display covered by plexiglass, and severely curtailed operations. Orders were placed online. Earlier this month, a few dozen U.S. stores brought back in-store shopping followed by 40 stores and another 50 the following week. Today, two dozen stores including those in states such as California, Kentucky, New Jersey, New York, and Utah brought back shopping sessions for customers.
While Apple closed all of its U.S. stores at the beginning of the pandemic, the tech giant reportedly continued to pay Apple Store employees including some who were asked to handle support queries from the safety of their homes. While online sales helped the firm recoup some of the business lost to the virus, Apple CEO Tim Cook recently said that the strong holiday quarter that Apple announced last month would have been stronger had the retail units been open.