January 23, 2021

Coronavirus threatens the next generation of smartphones

Every Autumn, Mazen Kourouche heads to the biggest Apple Store in Sydney, Australia, and queues up for hours to be one of the first people in the world to get his hands on the latest iPhone.

“Since the iPhone 7 came out I’ve been lining up for the new Apple devices for a few reasons: firstly the hype associated with them, secondly because of the resale value, and thirdly because Australia is the first country to get access to the devices, so people are interested in hearing about it,” he says.

According to Mr Kourouche, who develops software for the iPhone operating system (iOS), many people would usually travel from overseas to get their hands on the iPhone in Australia. The nation’s time zone means its Apple stores are the first to open around the world on launch day.

This year could be different though. Like most other retailers, Apple has closed its shops around the world in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

It’s still too early to say whether the shops will be back open in the time for the launch of new devices in the autumn.

But in some countries the picture is not encouraging. In the UK, the government has said that it could be between three to six months before normal life will resume and that includes re-opening non-essential shops.

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