2020 was a turbulent year for the entire world, including Apple. The Apple Stores were closed, everything went digital from now on, and the iPhone took longer this year than ever before. In this article, we look back at 2020: this is how Apple dealt with the corona crisis.
Read on after the ad.
Review: Apple and the corona crisis
In the Netherlands, the first corona infection took place on February 27, 2020, but Apple had already dealt with the virus before. That’s because the company has a lot of factories in China. In December 2019, the corona virus started in China’s Wuhan region, after which it spread around the world.
Shortage of iPhones and closed stores
The first challenge therefore presented itself early in the year for Apple: how further now the factories must be closed? The company made every effort to set up production facilities where possible, but was unable to prevent shortages. In particular, replacement iPhones, which customers receive when their own device is broken, were scarce at the beginning of this year.
In mid-March, the corona virus began to spread rapidly across the world. Enough reason for Apple to close almost all of its stores worldwide. The company also sent most of its personnel home. Only essential employees were allowed to keep coming to the office. By the way, around March, the Chinese Apple Stores just reopened after being closed for several months.
Online became the norm
However, it was not justified to come together in large numbers last year. All presentations of new products took place online, or not. For example, the March event, where Apple TV Plus and Apple Arcade were unveiled in 2019, was canceled this year. The new iPhone SE, a device that was eagerly awaited, was ‘just’ announced in April with a press release.
The first Apple event of 2020 only took place in June. WWDC, the annual developer conference, was hosted completely online for the first time. During the main keynote, iOS 14, iPadOS 14 and watchOS 7, among others, were discussed. The company also gave a preview of the Apple M1, the brand new chip completely made by Apple that is included in the recently released MacBook Air.
Collect masks, donations and money
Meanwhile, the pandemic was rampant and Tim Cook’s company decided to help and roll up its sleeves. Apple thus produced millions of masks that were distributed to aid organizations worldwide. The iPhone maker also donated to organizations that were (and are) busy fighting the virus.
Last April, the One World: Together At Home event took place as part of this. Proceeds from this online festival – featuring Lady Gaga, Paul McCartney and Billie Eilish among others – went entirely to the specially delighted World Health Organization (WHO) corona fund.
No one could have predicted that Apple and Google would collaborate intensively in 2019. Yet that happened last year. The two tech giants worked together on the underlying technology that is needed for coronavirus tracker apps, which are used to prevent and map the spread of the virus.
Apple and Google have opened the figurative ports of their operating systems (iOS and Android) so that phones from both sides can communicate with each other. This technique can then be used to develop national apps against the spread of the virus. The Dutch variant, CoronaMelder, has been active nationally since October.
Normally September is iPhone month, but 2020 does not stick to mores. Due to the factories closed earlier this year and the resulting production problems, the Apple smartphone was postponed to October. The company did organize a fully digital event in September. Here we got to see the new Apple Watches and iPad Air 2020.
In mid-October it was time for the new iPhone. Or rather: iPhones. 2020 is the busiest iPhone year ever because the iPhone 12 consists of no less than four models. To keep the release on track, Apple decided to release the device in two rounds. The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro appeared in mid-October; the iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 Pro Max followed in November.
However, the release was not completely flawless. Until today you have to take into account long delivery times. For example, who now orders a separate iPhone 12 Pro Max, should take into account an average delivery time of 5 to 7 weeks. An iPhone 12 Pro with a subscription takes an average of 6 to 8 weeks to reach you.
New chapter for the Mac
The last Apple event took place last month. During a brief, somewhat technical online presentation, the company reflected on the biggest update to the Mac in years. In the coming period, all Apple computers will be equipped with an M1 chip: the Intel era is coming to an end. In other words, the foundation of the Mac is being replaced.
First up are the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro (13 inch) and Mac mini. In our MacBook Air with M1 chip review, we take a detailed look at the landslide, but in short, we think the M1 chip has been the right move. After all, Apple is no longer dependent on third parties (Intel), but can make its own plan.
There was no One More Thing moment at Apple presentations this year. For lack of anything better, the AirPods Max is therefore awarded the ‘surprise of the year’ stamp. Apple’s first over-ear headphones appeared at the last minute of this year and gave the company a lot of skepticism. Time will tell whether these headphones will be just as trendsetting as their smaller brothers, the AirPods and AirPods Pro.
On to 2021
Let’s hope that 2021 becomes a more normal year for the world, and that Apple can move forward largely on a trusted footing. Traditionally, the company organizes at least three presentations in a year: in March, June and September. The press is also sometimes convened in November.
The next Apple event is likely to take place in March 2021. Looking at the rumors, we expect to see the third generation AirPods, refreshed iMac and a new Apple TV during this presentation. June is of course all about new software versions and let’s hope that the iPhone 13 shows its face in September, and not in October.
Thank you for reading (and watching) it iPhoned. Our editors are happy to write about everything that has to do with Apple every day and hope to welcome you in 2021. For now we have no other choice than to wish you a Merry Christmas and a nice New Year’s Eve.