Apple reportedly relied on robots and augmented reality to build the new iPhone from afar during the early days of coronavirus lockdowns
- The pandemic posed a "huge challenge" to
Apple's hardware design process and resulted in major adjustments to the manufacturing process, hardware chief Dan Riccio told employees this week, according to a report from Bloomberg.
- Coronavirus lockdowns and travel restrictions hit the US in March, around the same time Apple typically launches manufacturing on the hardware products that debuted this past fall.
- Instead of sending employees to China like it usually does, Apple reportedly used robots and augmented reality to help employees work together.
- US-based workers also adjusted their hours to better communicate with employees in China, Bloomberg reports.
As the coronavirus began to spread in early March, it affected a crucial aspect of Apple's business: hardware production.
That's according to a new report from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, which detailed a recent virtual town hall meeting with Apple employees. At the meeting, top executives including CEO
Those changes paid off: Apple unveiled a slew of hardware products this fall, including four new iPhone models, a new Apple Watch, a HomePod Mini, and several new Macs.Apple, like most other Silicon Valley tech companies, has not sent its whole workforce back to the office since California's stay-at-home orders forced offices to close down earlier this year. Cook said during an interview on the "Outside Podcast" this week that about 15% of employees are currently reporting to
During the same town hall meeting, Cook told employees that it "seems likely" most teams won't return to the office before June 2021, according to Bloomberg.
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