Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) announced Saturday morning it will be closing all retail stores outside of Greater China until March 27.
In a letter posted Saturday, Apple CEO Tim Cook cited the most effective way to minimize risk of the COVID-19's transmission is to reduce density and maximize social distance.
"There is no mistaking the challenge of this moment," Cook wrote in his letter. "The entire Apple family is indebted to the heroic first responders, doctors, nurses, researchers, public health experts and public servants globally who have given every ounce of their spirit to help the world meet this moment. We do not yet know with certainty when the greatest risk will be behind us."
Apple had to close down all of its stores in China in early February at the height of the coronavirus spread in the country. All 42 of the iPhone maker's stores in China are now operating, Bloomberg reported Friday.
Cook's letter continued: "And yet I have been inspired by the humanity and determination I have seen from all corners of our global community. As President Lincoln said in a time of great adversity: 'The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew.'"
Apple said in mid-February it doesn't expect to meet earnings guidance for the quarter ending in March. The company previously outlined revenue guidance of $63 billion to $67 billion for this quarter, but didn’t provide a number in the latest update.