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Apple Reportedly Drops Mask Mandate at 100 Retail Stores

'The positive trends in vaccinations, testing, and case counts' have enabled Apple to drop its mask mandate at some stores, a media report says.
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Consumer-technology titan Apple  (AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. Report reportedly will drop the mask requirement for customers at many of its U.S. retail stores, starting with 100 outlets on Friday.

The news was reported by Bloomberg based on a memo to Apple retail employees. 

“The positive trends in vaccinations, testing, and case counts for your area have made this change possible,” the memo said.

The new policy in coming days will spread to more of the Cupertino, Calif., company's 270 stores. 

Stores affected include ones in California, Florida, Arizona, New York, Louisiana, New Jersey and Connecticut.

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Apple retail employees still have to wear masks. “Team members have longer interactions in store and are in close proximity throughout the day,” the memo explained.

Apple stock recently traded at $151.36, up 0.4%. That’s a bit behind the Nasdaq Composite’s 0.61% rise at last check.

Apple has gained 9% in the past month, trailing the Nasdaq’s 12% gain. Supply chain disruption has forced a cut in production of iPhone, iPads and Mac computers, damping revenue.

Morningstar analyst Abhinav Davuluri puts fair value for Apple at $124 and assigns it a narrow moat.

“Management expects Apple to set a new revenue record for the December quarter, with growth in all segments but the iPad, though supply constraints are expected to reduce sales by more than $6 billion,” he wrote last week.

“We forecast more modest revenue growth in 2022, as strong demand for the iPhone 13 and services are partially offset by slowing Mac and iPad demand related to abating Covid-19 restrictions and supply constraints.”