Afternoon Coffee: Coronavirus fallout hurts Apple’s revenue forecast; retail sales up again;  Geek+ in Americas; AI and 3-D mapping

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China’s reaction to the coronavirus was to lock down the epicenter of the outbreak, shut down transport, close factories and stores. This had the predictable effect on corporate America of throwing its huge supply chains that crisscross China into disarray, causing sales in China of U.S. brands to drop drastically, the website Wolf Street reports.

U.S. companies, big and small, are trying to grapple with these effects on their bottom lines.

Now, Apple has said the virus threw its revenue guidance of Jan. 28 out the window. Apple said Monday that it may not meet its quarterly revenue forecast because of lower iPhone supply globally and lower Chinese demand as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, CNBC reports.

The company initially said it expected to report net sales of $63 billion to $67 billion in its fiscal second quarter. Apple did not provide a new forecast for its fiscal second-quarter revenue Monday.

U.S. retail sales up in January, fourth month in a row

New figures released by the U.S. Commerce Department show retail sales in January were up for the fourth straight month as cheaper prices at the gas pump encouraged Americans to spend. But the report comes with a rider — a core measure of demand softened, Bloomberg News reports.

The value of overall sales climbed 0.3%. But the so-called control group subset of sales was unchanged in January after a downwardly revised December gain.

That measure excludes food services, car dealers, building-materials stores and gasoline stations. Sales retreated at electronics outlets, clothing stores and personal care shops.

Logistics robotics tech firm Geek+ launches Americas operations

Well-known global provider of robotics tech for logistics Geek+ has announced it had launched its Americas operations by opening an office in San Diego, California.

Geek+ Americas will manage robotic warehouse and smart factory projects, delivering its solutions to customers across the continent. As chief operating officer for the Americas, Mark Messina will drive operations in the U.S. and business expansion across the continent. He is an early logistics robotic advocate with two decades of experience in operations and engineering.

Air Force research lab to deploy Enview’s AI analytics capabilities

The U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) has signed an agreement to deploy Enview’s artificial intelligence (AI) analytics capabilities provided by Enview, which uses AI and 2-D/3-D mapping to monitor and protect infrastructure. The Air Force will use Enview with the 60th Air Mobility Wing’s national defense mission in the area of natural disaster relief.

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