Apple closing all stores outside China until March 27 due to virus

Cook said the firm had learned from steps taken in China, where the tech giant has just reopened its retail stores. (File/AFP)
Short Url
Updated 14 March 2020

Apple closing all stores outside China until March 27 due to virus

  • “One of those lessons is that the most effective way to minimize risk of the virus’s transmission is to reduce density and maximize social distance,” CEO Tim Cook said

SAN FRANCISCO: Apple is closing all of its stores outside China until March 27 in a bid to slow the spread of the new coronavirus outbreak, CEO Tim Cook said.
Cook said the firm had learned from steps taken in China, where the tech giant has just reopened its retail stores.
“One of those lessons is that the most effective way to minimize risk of the virus’s transmission is to reduce density and maximize social distance,” he said in a statement Friday.
“As rates of new infections continue to grow in other places, we’re taking additional steps to protect our team members and customers.”


Virus hastens newspapers’ slide into shaky digital future

The disappearance of newspapers deals out additional pain throughout the production chain, taking in printers, paper makers and delivery people. (AFP)
Updated 10 sec ago

Virus hastens newspapers’ slide into shaky digital future

  • Getting papers to readers is a challenge, worsening a decline in advertising

PARIS: The coronavirus crisis has weighed heavily on print newspapers already battling for survival around the world, with the number of copies sold tumbling while less profitable digital readerships surge.

Simply delivering printed papers to the shops — or having customers come in to buy them — has become a challenge, worsening the decline in sales and advertising revenue.
“Consumption of printed newspapers has fallen as lockdowns undermine physical distribution, almost certainly accelerating the shift to an all-digital future,” the Reuters Institute’s 2020 annual report said.
Major dailies in Brazil and Mexico have already switched to online-only or dropped some days’ editions, while in the Philippines 10 of the 70 newspapers in the PPI association have shuttered.
“Times are hard. There are no advertisers and no-one is reading us,” PPI executive director Ariel Sebellino said. The archipelago nation’s small local newspapers were hardest hit during lockdown as street sales tumbled. “The industry is under siege and we’ve all taken bruises,” Sebellino said.
Far from affecting only journalists, the disappearance of print papers deals out pain all up the production chain, taking in printers, paper makers and delivery people.
Major British media brands could boast of 6.6 million new online readers in the first quarter in what their industry association said was a new record. But most have not seen the same bounce in print sales. The coronavirus has become “the greatest threat to the global news industry since the 2008 economic crash” wrote industry publication Press Gazette — which itself moved online-only in 2013.

FASTFACT

Between 2005 and 2018, some 250 local papers closed across Britain.

Between 2005 and 2018, some 250 local papers closed across Britain, while today one in three journalists’ jobs are believed to be under threat. The picture is similar in the US, where dozens of papers have closed or merged with local competitors since the crisis. Between 2008 and 2019, half of all workers in American newspapers lost their jobs, according to a Pew institute count.
Around the world, audiences have melted away for the free sheets once handed out in busy urban centers. Unable to count on funding
from advertisers, some have paused publication, including Metro or Destak in Brazil or France’s 20 Minutes.
With its aging population used to holding a paper in their hands, Germany’s newspaper publishers “were all making money before the coronavirus crisis, even if circulation figures kept falling,” said Frank Ueberall, president of the DJV journalists’ federation.
“Things are different now,” but “text journalism still has good days ahead,” Ueberall said. “Old people in particular are far from adopting digital technologies en masse.”
“Printing is expensive, but it’s swings and roundabouts,” said Gilles Dechamps, head of a printing company in northern Paris, arguing that “it’s important for readers and for advertisers to have the landmark” of a printed paper.”
Despite efforts such as cutting their size to save paper or investing in the web over the past 30 years, few papers have found the winning formula to make money from 21st-century journalism.
“Even in the smallest markets, Facebook and Google syphon three-quarters of the digital revenue,” said Penelope Abernathy, a former Wall Street Journal and New York Times vice president who now teaches media economics at the University of North Carolina. “That leaves all other legacy media fighting for the digital scraps.”