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How to change the default email app on your iPhone so you can use Gmail or Outlook instead - CNBC
Choose your favorite email app, and when you click an email address link, iOS 14 will launch that app instead of Apple's.
Apple's new iPhone update, iOS 14, launched on Sept. 16. One of the big features in it lets you change your default email app from Apple's Mail app to another one if it supports the feature. If you're like me, and use Outlook and Gmail instead of Mail, this is a big deal. Normally, if you click a link to an email address somewhere, your iPhone will just open Mail and start a new message, usually from your Apple iCloud account. It's annoying when this happens, since your email might not come from your regular work or personal account, and you might miss responses that are sent to an inbox you don't use. The change was first announced in June, when Apple revealed iOS 14, in what appears to be an attempt by Apple to address complaints from competitors. It's easy to change your default email app in iOS 14 and just takes a few seconds. I've changed mine to my work Outlook account, since that's the one I usually send emails from. But lots of other apps support this too. Before we begin, first make sure you're running iOS 14.0.1, which fixed a bug in the feature in the first version of iOS 14. You can check by opening Settings > General > About. If you need to update, do this:
- Plug in your iPhone and connect to Wi-Fi.
- Open Settings.
- Tap General.
- Choose Software Update.
- Open Settings.
- Scroll down to the email app you want to use. (I'll use Gmail for this example, but it works the same for any that are supported.)
- Tap the icon for Gmail.
- Tap "Default Mail App."
- Change to the app you want to use.
Microsoft delays new 'Halo' game, its best chance at winning this fall's console wars, until 2021 - CNBC
The game was originally slated to come out with the launch of the Xbox Series X console, which will become available in November, Microsoft said on Tuesday. Now the video game will become available sometime in 2021.
Microsoft said Tuesday that its new Xbox Series X will launch in November and that one of the flagship games for it, the first-person shooter title "Halo Infinite," will be delayed until sometime in 2021. The announcement could affect the timing of demand for Microsoft's next-generation hardware, as well as revenue from gaming content. It's one area where Microsoft continues to court consumers, alongside Windows, advertising and PCs. Microsoft's Xbox Series X will compete directly with the SonyPlayStation 5, which is expected to launch around the same time. Gaming represented 8% of total revenue in Microsoft's 2020 fiscal year, which ended on June 30. It was up just 1.7% from the prior year as people awaited a successor to the Xbox One from 2013. With the new Series X, Microsoft is also promoting its new Xbox Game Pass subscription, which will allow people to stream Xbox games to their Android phones and other devices directly from the cloud. Gamers won't necessarily even need to own the new console to play some of the games that will be available for it though that will offer the best in-home experience on a big screen TV. Xbox Game Pass costs $14.99 a month and will include access to more than 100 games when it launches on Sept. 15. Microsoft and Sony have not disclosed the cost of their new consoles. "We have made the difficult decision to shift our release to 2021 to ensure the team has adequate time to deliver a Halo game experience that meets our vision," Chris Lee, studio head for the game at 343 Industries, one of Microsoft's game-development studios, said in a statement posted on Twitter. Lee said releasing the game in time for the holiday season was not in the best interest of the team or the title. The first version of Halo debuted with the original Xbox console in 2001. Microsoft revealed gameplay from "Halo Infinite" alongside other games last month. "Halo Infinite" will become available on Windows 10 and the Xbox One in addition to the Xbox Series X, 343 Industries said in a blog post. WATCH: Sony and Microsoft are waiting to see who blinks first on console pricing: Analyst
The coronavirus stimulus talks stall out, plus Samsung, Google, and Apple's war for smartphone buyers: CNBC After Hours - CNBC
CNBC.com's MacKenzie Sigalos brings you the day's top business news headlines. On today's show, CNBC.com's Todd Haselton explains what the upcoming seasons of smartphone releases might look like in an economy with 10.2% unemployment.
CNBC.com's MacKenzie Sigalos brings you the day's top business news headlines. On today's show, CNBC.com's Todd Haselton explains what the upcoming seasons of smartphone releases might look like in an economy with 10.2% unemployment. Plus, CNBC's Deirdre Bosa breaks down President Trump's executive order banning business transactions with Chinese app WeChat and the potentially massive ramifications for corporate America. Trump issues executive orders banning U.S. transactions with WeChat and TikTok in 45 days President Donald Trump on Thursday issued executive orders banning U.S. transactions with Chinese tech firms Tencent and ByteDance. Tencent owns Chinese messaging app WeChat, and ByteDance is the Beijing-based parent company of the widely popular short video-sharing app TikTok. The ban will take effect in 45 days and may attract retaliation from Beijing. While the scope of the ban remains unclear, the executive orders said that after 45 days, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross "shall identify the transactions" that will be subjected to the prohibition. Google's new $350 phone packs a killer camera Google on Monday announced the Pixel 4a, a $350 Android phone that will be available on Aug. 30. It's an affordable phone, at least compared with the $1,000-plus smartphones out there, but competes directly with Apple's iPhone SE, which launched in April and starts at $399. Google's Android phones aren't nearly as popular as Apple or Samsung's Android phones in the U.S. But last year's Pixel 3a helped it pick up some momentum. "With the launch of Pixel 3a in May, overall Pixel unit sales in Q2 grew more than two times year over year," Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google parent Alphabet, said in July 2019 during Alphabet's second-quarter 2019 earnings call, without saying how many were sold. Payrolls increase by nearly 1.8 million, topping expectations despite coronavirus resurgence Two months of record-setting payroll growth slowed in July but was still better than Wall Street estimates even as a rise in coronavirus cases put a damper on the struggling U.S. economy. Nonfarm payrolls increased 1.763 million for the month, the Labor Department reported Friday. The unemployment rate fell to 10.2% from its previous 11.1%, also better than the estimates from economists surveyed by Dow Jones.
Dow futures jump more than 200 points after Moderna says its vaccine produces antibodies to coronavirus - CNBC
Stocks directly tied to an economic reopening jumped following the vaccine news.
Stock futures rose in premarket trading Wednesday after drug developer Moderna said its coronavirus vaccine produced antibodies in all patients in an early trial, raising hopes for a faster economic recovery. Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average pointed to a nearly 200 point gain at the open. S&P 500 futures and the Nasdaq 100 futures also indicated a positive start to the day. Moderna's potential vaccine to prevent Covid-19 produced a "robust" immune response, or neutralizing antibodies, in all 45 patients in its early stage human trial, according to newly released data published Tuesday evening in the peer-reviewed New England Journal of Medicine. Shares of Moderna surged more than 16% in after-hours trading on Tuesday. Stocks directly tied to an economic reopening jumped following the vaccine news. American Airlines, United Airlines, Royal Caribbean Cruise all popped more than 4% each in extended trading. "This should further increase confidence that we are getting a robust immune response, in that there should be greater confidence that this will be protective to a degree in transmission of Covid," Michael Yee, a managing director at Jefferies, said on CNBC's "Fast Money." "This is all along our positive thesis and our view that both Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech are definitely on a good track to get a vaccine by the end of the year." Stocks finished Tuesday's volatile session on a high note with the Dow jumping more than 500 points to post its best day in two weeks. The S&P 500 jumped 1.3%, boosted by cyclical names sensitive to the economic recovery. The tech-heavy Nasdaq underperformed for a second day, rising 0.9% as the massive rally in Big Tech slowed down. Investors will monitor another batch of corporate earnings results on Tuesday with Goldman Sachs, UnitedHealth, Bank of NY Mellon, U.S. Bancorp and PNC Financial all set to report before the bell. Earnings from big banks so far have been mixed. JPMorgan Chase reported better-than-expected quarterly results on the back of a massive surge in trading revenue. Wells Fargo suffered a $2.4 billion loss and slashed its dividend to 10 cents per share. Meanwhile, tensions between the U.S. and China continue to rise. President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he signed legislation to impose sanctions on China in response to its interference with Hong Kong's autonomy. CNBC's Jesse Pound contributed reporting. Subscribe to CNBC PRO for exclusive insights and analysis, and live business day programming from around the world.
Ford launching new driver system to compete with Tesla's Autopilot and GM's Super Cruise - CNBC
Ford's answer to advanced driver-assist systems such as Tesla's Autopilot and General Motors' Super Cruise is called "Active Drive Assist."
Ford says its Active Drive Assist system will allow for hands-free driving on more than 100,000 miles of divided highways in the U.S. and Canada. Ford Motor's answer to advanced driver-assist systems such as Tesla's Autopilot and General Motors' Super Cruise is launching as the automaker introduces important new or redesigned vehicles such as the all-electric Mustang Mach-E crossover. The company's new "Active Drive Assist" will be part of the automaker's "Co-Pilot360" safety and convenience technologies. The hardware for the hands-free driving system will be available to order first on the Mach-E later this year, followed by other "select" vehicles for the 2021 model year, Ford announced Thursday. Customers will have to wait until next year though for the technology to be available on the Mach-E. The crossover, according to the company, will be "among the first" vehicles to receive the system during the third quarter of 2021 via a remote, or over-the-air, update or at a dealership. A spokesman for Ford declined to comment on what other vehicles the technology will be offered on as well as their timing. The automaker's F-150 is likely a good candidate. Ford is unveiling a redesigned version of the pickup next week with a new electrical architecture, or brains, of the vehicle, which is a key enabler for such technologies. Ford's Active Drive Assist begins rolling out on select 2021 model year Ford vehicles and will be available across the Mustang Mach-E lineup. Ford's Active Drive Assist will control a vehicle's speed, braking and steering through a system of cameras, radar and other sensors on more than 100,000 miles of divided highways in the U.S. and Canada. The system's design and function are more like GM's Super Cruise than Tesla's Autopilot. Both GM and Ford systems will only operate on pre-mapped roads. They also use an infrared driver-facing camera on the steering column to monitor a driver's attentiveness to allow hands-free driving. Tesla's system offers greater functionality and availability but does not utilize a camera and drivers must check in by touching the vehicle's steering wheel. What will separate Active Driver Assist from GM's Super Cruise, according to Ford officials, will be the way the system handles and interacts with drivers. The main physical difference is Ford's system will communicate with drivers through a digital driver information screen rather than primarily through a light bar on the vehicle's steering wheel. "A huge amount of work was done in this respect," Darren Palmer, global director of battery electric vehicles at Ford, said during a media briefing. "We noticed from reviewing systems on sale that it can be a little bit confusing to customers." Palmer said the system is "very smooth" and clearly communicates how the vehicle is operating, which is "important for building confidence." Active Drive Assist will be available across the Mustang Mach-E lineup. Ford said the availability of the system on other nameplates will vary by vehicle.
Why the first SpaceX astronaut launch marks a crucial leap for NASA's ambitions - CNBC
SpaceX launched astronauts to space for first time on Saturday, heralded by NASA leaders as beginning a new chapter in human spaceflight.
SpaceX launched astronauts to space for first time on Saturday, in a mission heralded by NASA leaders as the beginning of a new chapter in human spaceflight. "We have been reliant on Russia to ferry astronauts into space since 2011, and this moment puts us back on track with grander ambitions for human space flight ahead of us," Jefferies analyst Sheila Kahyaoglu told CNBC after the launch. In short, the first crewed SpaceX Demo 2 launch means everything from the U.S. controlling its own future in space to unlocking the possibility of human life on Mars. The United States has done this before, but it has been some time. NASA put its first man in orbit 58 years ago, landed people on the moon 51 years ago, and began launching the space shuttle to orbit nearly 40 years ago. Those achievements are each certainly historic, but the U.S. has not returned humans to the moon since the Apollo program ended. And ballooning costs, as well as higher-than-anticipated risk, led to the end of the space shuttle program in 2011. Some of the significance of the SpaceX launch has been buried in the news cycle. NASA officials had hoped that the launch would be a unifying moment for the country. But the SpaceX Demo-2 mission has taken a backseat to the global coronavirus pandemic and widespread U.S. protests following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. NASA astronaut Bob Behnken noted those two situations in a CNBC interview on Tuesday, saying he hopes the view that astronauts have of Earth helps spread an inspiring message. "There are no boundaries or borders really observable from space. You see that it's a single planet with a shared atmosphere. It's our shared place in this universe," Behnken told CNBC. "I think that perspective, as we go through things like the pandemic or we see the challenges across our nation or across the world, we recognize that we all face them together." To better capture the importance of last weekend's launch, CNBC spoke to Wall Street analysts, private capital investors and industry experts. "A private company has just achieved a feat that heretofore has only been achieved by nation-states." Quilty Analytics founder Chris Quilty told CNBC. "The launch unlocks the possibility of a new era of sustained, private, commercial activity in space." Indeed, the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft is the first to be designed, built and launched to space by a private entity. That's an accomplishment only three nations the U.S., Russia and China have achieved previously. But this success is even bigger for SpaceX, as Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas explained in a note to clients on Monday. "The primary role of a private commercial space company in the Demo-2 mission is highly significant and defines this new era of space, in our view," Jonas said. A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the company's Crew Dragon spacecraft is launched on the Demo-2 mission with NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley onboard. In essence, NASA took a new approach to developing a replacement for the space shuttle when it partnered with SpaceX and Boeing. Rather than the agency taking the lead on designing and building a spacecraft, with help from contractors, NASA through the Commercial Crew program awarded the two companies with development funds and then worked alongside the companies. Silicon Valley Bank managing director Ann Kim told CNBC that NASA partnering with SpaceX has led to an unprecedented low price tag for U.S. taxpayers. "Working with domestic partners will produce massive cost savings, increase both public and private funding, and accelerate growth of the US space economy," Kim said. This model also means that SpaceX retains ownership of the spacecraft it developed, as NASA is procuring services from Elon Musk's company buying seats for its astronauts. That allows SpaceX to use the Crew Dragon capsules for other missions, such as private passenger flights. This represents a new dynamic in the space industry, Space Capital managing partner Chad Anderson told CNBC. "Previously, NASA has been both sides of the equation -- they have been the supply and the demand," Anderson said. "You can't have a flourishing marketplace when you only have one actor and only a few companies helping them get there." The historical significance Once NASA retired the space shuttle nearly a decade ago, the country was left with "no mechanism for sending astronauts to space, other than to pay for a seat on a Russian rocket," ARK Invest analyst Sam Korus told CNBC. That handed Russia a monopoly on human spaceflight, which Korus noted led to the price NASA paid per astronaut increasing from about $40 million in 2011 to more than $90 million this year. "This is huge in reclaiming our ability to control our future in space," Korus said. A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket about to launch the company's Crew Dragon spacecraft is seen before the Demo-2 mission with NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley onboard. Analysts used a variety of historical analogies to contextualize why SpaceX's launch matters when the U.S. has done this before. Jefferies' Kahyaoglu looked to baseball, and the end of a storied championship drought, for comparison. "It is like when the Red Sox won the world series in 2004 after an 86 year drought. They went on to win several more over the next six years. This event puts NASA on track to expand its human space program," Kahyaoglu told CNBC. Korus and Quilty both gave analogies from the tech industry to compare to the Demo-2 launch. Korus noted that the precursor to the internet was a U.S. military project called ARPANET, which connected the first computers in 1969. Much like the Apollo and space shuttle programs, the ARPANET program was a historic success but was far too costly to run long-term and was decommissioned. But ARPANET paved the way for the commercialization of the internet, which Korus noted has today created trillions of dollars in value. "Numerous technologies from the semiconductor to the Internet were created [or] established through government investment but did not become economically relevant until commercial actors stepped in," Quilty said, describing the first SpaceX crewed launch as a possible "Netscape Navigator" moment for the space industry. There are hundreds of private space companies on SpaceX's heels as well, thanks to about $24 billion of investment in the past decade. One of those companies is Axiom Space, which is planning private missions to the ISS as well as its own space station, and is led by CEO Mike Suffredini who led NASA's space station program for a decade. Suffredini told CNBC that, in addition to the milestones that SpaceX Demo-2 surpassed, the launch of astronauts has a more powerful and inspirational affect on the industry's growth. "We found in the agency over the years that astronauts had this unique ability to open the imaginations of all of us because we could all imagine ourselves participating." Suffredini said "The key aspect is that now people can relate to it." What it means for NASA NASA astronauts Bob Behnken (R) and Doug Hurley walk out of the Operations and Checkout Building on their way to the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the Crew Dragon spacecraft on launch pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center on May 30, 2020 in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Beyond President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and much of this current administration's cabinet, many of NASA's leadership were on hand to witness the SpaceX Demo-2 launch at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. While this launch sent astronauts into orbit around the Earth, Morgan Stanley emphasized that it energizes NASA's plans to send crew further. "There is a significant sense of urgency to execute bolder and more audacious missions in space," Jonas said. "Advancements in the next 5 to 10 years in space from a commercial, scientific and dual purpose/military perspective appear to be on a course of non-linear growth." NASA's Commercial Crew program represents a high-profile shift in the way the agency awards funding to companies, as Bessemer Venture Partners vice president Tess Hatch told CNBC. "This public private partnership has already proven successful since SpaceX has delivered 20 resupply missions to the international space station, but this mission was especially important since it was the first time astronauts, rather than cargo, were on board," Hatch said. That model of a partnership through a fixed-price development contract is one that each analyst and investor that CNBC spoke to highlighted. Kahyaoglu called it "a pivotal moment" that is in a sense "a blueprint for accelerating timelines." Kim said that the launch's success "should instill confidence that public-private partnerships are an integral driving force" to NASA's long-term plans. And Anderson described it as "a new way of doing business for NASA and private partners," that makes use of incentives "to push innovation forward." "What this really represents is a foundational shift in how we operate in space, where NASA is the customer," Anderson added. "They're now applying that partnership model to other things, like the moon." SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft docks with the International Space Station on May 30, 2020. Quilty Analytics pointed out that NASA awarded SpaceX with about $1.75 billion to develop Crew Dragon. For comparison, the Planetary Society noted that the cost to develop the space shuttle was $27.4 billion in 2020 dollars. Beyond the comparatively low price to build the spacecraft, Crew Dragon is also expected to be the most cost-effective spacecraft to carry astronauts. NASA awarded SpaceX with $2.4 billion for six operational missions. Dividing those up, each Crew Dragon launch costs about $400 million, with $220 million of that cost allotted to the four astronauts NASA expects to fly per mission or $55 million per astronaut. For comparison, Quilty estimated that the space shuttle cost $1.75 billion per launch when adjusted for inflation more than four times as much. NASA even said it expects the Commercial Crew program will save U.S. taxpayers more than $20 billion compared to the agency's previously plan for flying astronauts to the ISS. "The launch represents yet another ... nail in the heavy-handed government-led approach of developing space hardware," Quilty said. NASA asked Congress for a $25.2 billion budget next year. Anderson believes that the cost savings from programs like Commercial Crew will allow NASA "to take those savings and put them into other space missions." "Things that are pushing the boundaries and helping us go farther and explore more distant places that we never had before," Anderson said. What it means for SpaceX For Musk's rocket builder, the Demo-2 mission represents the culmination of the company's work thus far. Musk founded the company in 2002 and has since declared its informal credo to be "making humanity a multi-planetary species." To date, SpaceX has launched dozens of satellites and spacecraft successfully with its Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets. But, before Saturday, it had never put a human in space. "They have revolutionized the launch vehicle market through manufacturing and higher volume which has allowed for more cost effective solutions for customers," Kahyaoglu said. "This is one step in terms of evolution and potential application for human space affordability. It is about pushing the limits further than before, but also trying to do it at a lower cost." Quilty also noted that flying astronauts represents "a significant new revenue opportunity for SpaceX." "That can help fund the company's sprawling ambitions and activities," Quilty said. Suffredini's Axiom is one such SpaceX client, as the two companies signed a deal in March to fly three privately paying space tourists to the ISS for a 10-day mission. The mission will be managed by Axiom and will utilize SpaceX's Crew Dragon capsule in what is expected to be "the first-ever fully private" trip to the space station. Suffredini told CNBC that he's worked with Musk and SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell for many years and believes the Demo-2 launch is "really energizing to the company" as a whole. "I think it's very moving for them, as a bunch of individuals working for the company, to say that 'nobody's done this before,'" Suffredini said. Axiom's first flight to the space station is scheduled for October 2021. Until SpaceX's first crewed launch, Suffredini said Axiom has had "customers kind of sitting on the sidelines," waiting for SpaceX to begin launch astronauts. The milestone helps "our customers know that it's going to be real," Suffredini added. He said the three passengers for Axiom's first launch have been identified and that the company plans to announce the crew in the next month or so. Additionally, Suffredini said Axiom is already talking to customers about the company's second and third flights, as "we do intend to fly about once every six months." But the plans of companies like Axiom would not be possible if it wasn't for SpaceX's success last weekend. "By proving they can launch humans safely into space, the company unlocks an endless realm of possibilities that can ultimately lead to human life on Mars," Kim said. Subscribe to CNBC PRO for exclusive insights and analysis, and live business day programming from around the world.
Wearing a mask can significantly reduce coronavirus transmission, study on hamsters claims - CNBC
"The findings implied to the world and the public is that the effectiveness of mask-wearing against the coronavirus pandemic is huge," the study's lead microbiologist said.
As the debate over the effectiveness of wearing masks during a pandemic continues, a new study gives weight to arguments by medical professionals and government leaders that wearing a mask does indeed reduce virus transmission and dramatically so. Experiments by a team in Hong Kong found that the coronavirus' transmission rate via respiratory droplets or airborne particles dropped by as much as 75% when surgical masks were used. "The findings implied to the world and the public is that the effectiveness of mask-wearing against the coronavirus pandemic is huge," Dr. Yuen Kwok-yung, a leading microbiologist from Hong Kong University who helped discover the SARS virus in 2003, said Sunday. The study was released by the department of microbiology at The University of Hong Kong, and local media state it will be published in the Clinical Infectious Diseases medical journal, suggesting it is yet to be peer reviewed. The sample size was also reportedly in the double digits. The team's conclusion comes after months of conflicting information from world health bodies concerning masks. The World Health Organization has questioned their effectiveness outside of medical settings, while governments including those in the U.S. and U.K. initially urged citizens to leave them for health worker use, only to later make a U-turn and encourage widespread mask-wearing. The study, which the Hong Kong team calls the first of its kind, used hamsters in two cages; one group of hamsters infected with Covid-19 and the other healthy. The researchers created three different scenarios: mask barriers placed just on cages with the infected subjects, masks covering the healthy subjects, and one with no mask barriers at all, with a fan between the cages allowing particles to be transmitted between them. With no mask barriers at all, two-thirds of the healthy hamsters 66.7% were infected with the virus within a week, the researchers found. When the mask was placed over the infected cage, however, that infection rate dropped to 16.7%. The infection rate went up to 33% when the mask barrier was only used to cover the healthy hamsters' cage. The hamsters who were still infected despite having the mask barrier also had less of the virus in their bodies compared to those infected without the masks, the researchers found. "In our hamster experiment, it shows very clearly that if infected hamsters or humans especially asymptomatic or symptomatic ones put on masks, they actually protect other people. That's the strongest result we showed here," Yuen said. "Transmission can be reduced by 50 (percentage points) when surgical masks are used, especially when masks are worn by infected individuals," he said. Hamsters have very similar enzyme receptors to humans, which is why they were chosen as the test animals for Yuen's experiment. "Up to this stage, we do not have a safe and effective vaccine. What remains practical is still either social-distancing measures or wearing masks," Yuen added.
iPhone to your door: Chinese firms test super-fast phone delivery as coronavirus caution remains - CNBC
Even though infection numbers have declined sharply from the peak in China, analysts warned that consumers are still cautious about going outside and so quick deliveries could be a way to reach them.
People wearing face masks walk past an Apple store in Beijing on March 17, 2020 in Beijing, China. Smartphone makers in China including Huawei and Apple are turning to super-fast deliveries and even trade-ins at the door of consumers' homes as shoppers remain cautious about visiting busy stores in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. Meituan, a Chinese firm most known for food deliveries, signed a deal with Huawei franchise stores. Users in three cities Beijing, Shanghai and Wuxi are now able to buy Huawei's new P40 smartphone via the Meituan app and have it delivered to their residence. The P40 went on sale on April 8 in China. Meituan deliveries can come in 30 minutes depending on a user's distance to the store. The delivery firm will also onboard other brands including Chinese firm Vivo soon, a person familiar with the matter told CNBC. The person was not authorized to speak publicly as the Vivo deal has not been announced. Last month, JD.com, one of China's largest e-commerce firms and rival to Alibaba, launched a trade-in service for Apple products that can be done at a customer's doorstep. The program includes Apple's recently-launched iPad Pro and Macbook Air as well as iPhones. Usually, such trade-in programs require shoppers to go to physical stores. The initiatives are a response to the coronavirus epidemic in China which saw stores shut down for prolonged periods of time and people remaining indoors. The effect of the outbreak, according to one estimate from February, is that China's smartphone shipments could fall 30% year-on-year for the March quarter. Even as China's new coronavirus cases remain low, analysts said vendors might be experimenting with more with online shopping because customers may be cautious about returning to stores. "I think players are not yet sure whether their consumers have changed after the lockdown period, whether they are starting to completely move onto an online method, non-touch method, because they're still cautious about going to the store," Nicole Peng, vice president of mobility at market research firm Canalys. 'Pent-up demand' One of the effects of the coronavirus in China was the shutting down of retail stores for a long period of time after the Lunar New Year holiday in late January. Apple's stores only fully re-opened in March. Shutdowns and other measures meant to contain the virus kept people indoors for a long time. Peng said that built "pent-up demand" from consumers during that time. Despite that, both Xiaomi and Huawei went ahead with flagship smartphone launches and Apple did the same with its iPad and Macbook Air releases. Peng said that industry players have been telling her that their offline channels or physical stores, have been "recovering faster than they expected" with the retail market seeing a "heavy bounce back" since the end of February. "The China market has been recovering quite well given there was some pent-up demand before and during the lockdown," Peng said. But there are reasons to be cautious given the economic environment in China. The average estimate of 17 Chinese financial firms for first-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) is a contraction of 3.4%, according to Wind Information. Meanwhile, China's urban unemployment rate jumped sharply in February. "The market is starting to see Covid-19's effects on the economy itself ... So I'm not quite sure this demand is going to last," Peng said. "Hence it's important for them (smartphone makers) to test and try many different methods to reach out to consumers." China key for Apple, Huawei Exploring more methods to reach consumers in China could be very important for companies like Huawei and Apple given how crucial a market it is for both firms. Huawei was put on a U.S. blacklist last year which restricted its access to American technology, including Google's Android mobile operating system (OS). Huawei was forced to release two major devices without Android and Google's licensed apps such as Gmail. This is not a big deal in China where Google services are banned and consumers are not using those apps anyway. But in international markets, where Huawei has made ground, the lack of Android has hurt the company. Huawei looked to double down on China, which now contributes a significant portion of smartphone sales for the firm. Meanwhile, China has for a long time been a big chunk of Apple's revenue and a huge part of the supply chain. After the prolonged shutdown of stores and with the coronavirus impacting the company's other major international markets, Apple will be hoping these new consumer initiatives can help boost sales of its key products. But the delivery initiatives could also benefit the likes of Meituan and JD.com, too. Meituan has been trying to diversify away from just food and grocery deliveries. It has a hotel and travel booking arm. And consumer electronics could be an emerging area for the company. Meanwhile, JD.com is locked in a fierce battle with Alibaba for share of China's e-commerce market. The company is best-known for its fast delivery service, which it is trying to use in its smartphone trade-in programs.