Ahead of the Apple iPhone 12 launch, the company is changing how it ships devices to consumers. The tech giant will now use its network of Apple Stores as de-facto fulfillment centers, instead of sending out all of its hardware products directly from China or from local warehouses.
This means that Apple will now be shipping products directly from the stores to get to customers faster. According to Bloomberg Apple will use it about 300 stores in the US and Canada to speed up local delivery for customers within 100 miles of a store.
The company already began using the new system with several stores early in 2020. However, it will make a broader rollout just before the iPhone launch next week.
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This also means that Apple customers cannot choose the store from which they want their devices ship. However, using its network of retail stores to facilitate shipping to customers could help customers get their orders much faster. Instead, the decision on where to ship an item from is to be decided by Apple’s operations team.
This change in how Apple ships its devices will benefit from the COVID-19 pandemic which means that the stores are seeing far less in-person traffic. Apple has also discussed converting select stores into online support or sales call centers in the event that locations need to be closed again due to the pandemic as per Bloomberg. Already, some back rooms at stores have already started serving as small call centers.
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