KEY POINTS

  • Apple is checking on its suppliers in South Korea and Italy due to the outbreak
  • The outbreak is worsening in these countries
  • Apple has suspended its operations where the outbreaks are worse such as in China

Apple is currently checking the progress of containing the COVID-19 outbreak that erupted in South Korea and Italy. The company has suppliers in the said country and might be readying to suspend operations in these areas if necessary. Previously, Apple has just suspended operations in China and is slowly reopening its operations in the area.

In a report from Reuters, Apple is checking on both South Korea and Italy as the countries handle the outbreak. The company has some suppliers in these countries as Apple CEO Tim Cook confirms in an interview. Previously, Apple’s operations in China has been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak enough for the company to suspend operations in the country.

In South Korea, Apple’s suppliers are Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and LG Electronics Inc as a few of its major partners in the country. Apple mostly relies on these companies for making OLED screens and displays which are used mostly on iPhones, iPads and other smart devices from the company.

Both companies offer their own expertise in making screens and Apple further improves the screens once they have it on their factories. However, this partnership could be in danger if the Coronavirus outbreak spreads in the production line. Previously, Samsung has already imposed a self-quarantine in one of its factories after one employee tests positive in COVID-19.

Meanwhile, Apple has one Italy supplier, STMicroelectronics, according to the company’s Supplier List of 2019. STMicroelectronics is one of the leading semiconductor providers in the market and the massive outbreak in Italy could potentially affect the Apple’s supply from this company. The confirmed cases in Italy are already around 821 with a death toll of 21.

As of now, Apple is slowly recovering its operations in China through reopening its stores with limited operations. The company is also at 80 percent at recovering its operations in China.

Cook is also ruling out of transferring its China operations as the factories are located in one of the largest smartphone markets in the world. For now, Apple could suspend operations in South Korea and Italy if the situation calls for it.

Apple says it sees a slower-than-anticipated return to normal conditions in China -- where in both manufactures and sells products -- due to the coronavirus epidemic Apple says it sees a slower-than-anticipated return to normal conditions in China -- where in both manufactures and sells products -- due to the coronavirus epidemic Photo: AFP / NICOLAS ASFOURI