KEY POINTS

  • The current coronavirus pandemic has affected the lives of people everywhere
  • Various companies have responded to the outbreak in different ways
  • Apple has responded to it in ways that benefit its investors, employees and customers

The current COVID-19 pandemic has caused a lot of problems for people around the world, not just in China. Many companies, seeking to mitigate the damages the outbreak has caused, have responded to it in various ways.

Some, like Microsoft, Google, Cisco and Zoom, have offered their video conferencing and chat software for free so people can continue working from home.

Cupertino tech giant Apple has also done many things to help itself, its employees, and the people that it cares about deal with the COIVD-19 problem. Here's a quick look at what the iPhone maker has done, as per Apple insider:

For the company

Apple did several things for its investors and employees. It warned its investors early on that the outbreak is seen to affect the company's sales in China, and will also affect its supply all over.

Apple restricted its company travels to China, and suggested that its engineers should work from home. The travel restriction affected the production of new devices, but it at least helped protect the company's workers.

For employees

Apple had to close its offices and stores in China during the outbreak. Soon after, it started opening up stores, but announced that stores outside Greater China are closed until March 27. Employees affected by the closures due to the outbreak continue to receive wages, and those who are directly affected by COVID-19 will be accommodated.

For consumers

Apple, wanting to help consumers and the community, has done several things for them as well.

  • First, the company added a new coronavirus section in Apple News, so that it can provide users with reliable information about the virus and the events related to it. The tech giant also removed unofficial coronavirus apps from the App Store so as to minimize false information spreading through it.
  • Second, Apple TV+ users might feel bad about producers having to stop the production of some shows, but that is also done to protect everyone involved. Some producers, however, are releasing shows such as “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” and “Frozen 2” earlier than originally planned to help users deal with having to stay home.
  • Third, Apple is helping people stay free of the virus. It updated its website to provide tips on how to clean devices. It also announced that WWDC, which is normally packed with attendees, will go online. It also canceled some events including one that was supposed to happen this month.
  • Fourth, it launched the Customer Assistance Program. With this, Apple Card holders can file a “hardship claim” to miss the March payment interest-free.
  • Lastly, the company's humanitarian efforts have ramped up. It promised to give $1m to San Jose to compensate for lost business regarding WWDC cancellation. The tech giant also announced that its total contributions may have reached $15m worldwide. Furthermore, Apple said it will double the donations that its employees give.

Apple is closing all of its stores outside China until March 27 Apple is closing all of its stores outside China until March 27 Photo: AFP / Josh Edelson