Technology

What's Up With Apple: Apple Store Burns, Stores Close in Michigan, and More

By early March, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) had reopened all its U.S. stores, after the company had closed them all beginning in March in 2020. On Friday night, the Apple Store in downtown Portland, Oregon, was the site of a fire during a police-declared riot. Earlier in the day, the company closed all six of its Michigan stores temporarily in an effort to mitigate the recent surge of COVID-19 cases in the state.

The fire in Portland was set shortly before midnight Friday night and burned for more than 10 minutes before being extinguished, according to a report in Willamette Week. The fire caused no injuries.

Portland has been the scene of street protests and riots for more than a year. But, Willamette Week notes, there’s a difference from the protests last May following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis:

[T]he dynamic has shifted in a year: While the May protests appeared to be a spontaneous outpouring of anguish following Floyd’s death, tonight’s acts were committed by a small group of strident and organized activists who use property destruction to avenge police violence and the City Hall policies they see as abetting it.

In Michigan, Apple has closed all six of its Apple Stores on Friday, and it appears they will be closed all week. According to Apple’s retail website, the stores will be closed through Saturday, April 24.

Crain’s Detroit Business reports that the store closures are voluntary and it is unclear when the stores will reopen. Apple sent the following statement to Crain’s:

Due to current COVID-19 conditions, we are temporarily closing our stores in Michigan. We take this step with an abundance of caution as we closely monitor the situation and we look forward to having our teams and customers back as soon as possible.

The stores will be open to serve some customers who are picking up existing online orders or who may be keeping a Genius Support appointment or an already scheduled one-to-one shopping appointment.

Finally, Apple’s Spring Loaded virtual event takes place Tuesday at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT. The company is expected to announce upgraded iPad Pro models, a new Apple Pencil, its tracking hardware known as AirTags and a refreshed iMac, among a host of other rumored updates.