Coronavirus: Apple making millions of face masks using supply chain that usually makes iPhones and Macs

Andrew Griffin
Apple CEO Tim Cook delivers the keynote address during the 2019 Apple Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) at the San Jose Convention Center on June 03, 2019 in San Jose, California: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Apple has made millions of face masks by calling on the supply chain it usually works with to build its iPhones, Macs and other products.

The company has brought together an effort that includes its "product designers, engineering, operations, packaging teams, and our suppliers" to help make the face shields for health workers, according to chief executive Tim Cook.

Apple is just one of the many technology companies that has looked to help fight the spread of coronavirus, with companies across Silicon Valley offering products and help for health workers and the fight against covid-19 more generally.

The new work has seen it create 20 million of the masks and it has started to distribute them among healthcare workers already, Mr Cook said.

“Our first shipment was delivered to Kaiser hospital facilities in the Santa Clara Valley this past week, and the feedback from doctors was very positive,” he said.

“These pack flat, one hundred per box. Each shield is assembled in less than two minutes and is fully adjustable. We’re sourcing materials and manufacturing in the US and China.”

Tim Cook made the announcement in a tweet, accompanied by a video that appeared to have been shot at his home.

Apple has been forced to make a number of changes amid the outbreak of coronavirus across the US and elsewhere. It cancelled its annual developer conference and will instead hold it online, its staff are now working from home in a major change of culture, and has shut all of its stores outside of China.

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