Foxconn Cut 50,000 Contract Workers Months Ahead of Schedule Due to Poor iPhone Demand

Apple supplier Foxconn has let go around 50,000 contract workers at its iPhone factory in Zhengzhou, China, with the first cuts happening in October 2018. As one source with knowledge of Foxconn's plans told Nikkei, the scale of the cuts is not what stands out, but the fact that it's significantly earlier than previous years.

"It's quite different this year to ask assembly line workers to leave before the year-end," the source stated. Foxconn typically renews workers' contracts every month from August until January, at which point the workforce is scaled back for slow ‌iPhone‌ production season. This year, those cuts came as much as three months early.


The same is true for other Apple suppliers according to today's report, with Pegatron canceling monthly labor contracts last November. One source said that Pegatron's cuts "happened sooner than in the past because of poor demand," referring to the ‌iPhone‌.

Even smaller companies in Apple's supply chain reportedly cut down on their workforce, with one unnamed component supplier based in Shenzhen asking 4,000 workers to take an extended vacation from October to March. On March 1, the company will decide whether or not to lay the workers off.

For Foxconn, the company is preparing for restructuring throughout the company, merging business units that make iPads and MacBooks with the division making Dell and Acer computers. This means "steep cuts" to management, human resources, administrations, accounting, and utility support jobs, totaling 100,000 jobs removed by the end of 2018 and costs cut by $2.96 billion in 2019.

Apple in late December told its suppliers to cut production on new iPhones by 10 percent over the next three months, coming on the back of reports about weak ‌iPhone‌ sales during the holiday quarter. In early January, Apple CEO Tim Cook called reports claiming the iPhone XR was a flop "bologna," stating the device has been the most popular ‌iPhone‌ "every single day" since it launched.

Amid all of this, many Apple suppliers cut their 2019 sales forecasts, including Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company and Nidec. Specifically for the China market, these suppliers noted an "extraordinary" drop in demand for high-end smartphones.

Tag: Foxconn

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
22 months ago
Expected given the price and lack of innovation
Score: 61 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
22 months ago
I can provide a solution for this, Apple: CUT the prices.
The only time prices should be this high is when there's a big leap from the previous generation.
Score: 56 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
22 months ago

Apple cannot lower the prices abruptly. It's a damaging solution when we factor in the impact it will have on the brand, long term. It will set a precedent that Apple can price their devices lower than the premiums they're asking now, leading many to expect those "low prices" going forward, making Apple lose their premium brand status. It will also make it more obvious that they're struggling and that they're overpricing.

COMPLETELY WRONG

Please watch this 2 minute explanation from Steve Jobs

Score: 53 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
22 months ago
Noticed how Phil Schiller is silent in all of this? Apple bet wrong big time and their unofficial apologist John Gruber is looking for every excuse in the book.

Jonathan Morris of TLD made a sound recommendation to Apple in an interview I watched on YouTube yesterday. Apple should have taken a good will risk, absorb the cost of the iPhone XR and sell it for $599. If they did that, I don’t think Samsung or any other brand could stand a chance with 5G in 2019.

But the greed machine took ahold because of the iPhone X success going into 2018. Consumers are not blind. I bought the iPhone X knowing I will not be buying another iPhone for a while. The older models are still doing well in addition to the battery upgrade. But I think Apple just allowed cash hoarding top get the best of them and they really need to understand this is a device that will become obsolete over time. It’s not a timepiece.

The iPhone XS should have been pushed down to $799 in its second year because the company has made enough on the first generation to see the ROI for RD. Stop with this its expensive to make theory.
Score: 36 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
22 months ago
Apple would rather bleed marketshare just so they can protect that 38% profit margin. It's a fairly mature market now, there aren't as many revolutionary features in today's phones. Hard to believe that people don't want to shell out $1500 for a phone.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
22 months ago
Keep selling them good iPhones at 1k+ Tim. Keep selling that XR 720p screen tech from 2010 at $750+. Keep nickle and dimming your customers on dongles and astronomical storage upgrade prices.

What did you think was going to happen genius???
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Here's How You Can Download iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 Around the World [It's Out]

Wednesday September 16, 2020 2:36 am PDT by
Apple's official public release of iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 dropped on Wednesday, September 16, just a day after the company released the Golden Master to third-party developers. Also set to be made available to the general public for the first time are watchOS 7 and tvOS 14. Getting Started With iOS 14 Video Click image to watch iOS 14 Getting Started While that's left a lot of developers...

When Will the iPhone 12 Launch? Here's What We Know

Wednesday September 16, 2020 6:12 am PDT by
Yesterday's "Time Flies" Apple event saw the release of the Apple Watch Series 6, Apple Watch SE, iPad 8, and iPad Air 4, but no new iPhone models. Rumors before the event strongly alleged that it would not see the unveiling of new iPhones, with many reports pointing to an October launch. The lack of new iPhone models yesterday seems to confirm that the iPhone 12 lineup will not appear...

Apple Releases iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 With Home Screen Redesign, App Library, Compact UI, Translate App, Scribble Support, App Clips, and More

Wednesday September 16, 2020 12:48 pm PDT by
Apple has released iOS 14 and iPadOS 14, the newest operating system updates designed for the iPhone and iPad. As with all of Apple's software updates, iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 can be downloaded for free. iOS 14 is available on the iPhone 6s and later, while iPadOS 14 is available on the iPad Air 2 and later. The updates are available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To ...

Apple Releases Safari 14 for Mac Ahead of macOS Big Sur Launch

Wednesday September 16, 2020 1:40 pm PDT by
macOS Big Sur didn't launch alongside iOS 14, iPadOS 14, tvOS 14, and watchOS 7 today, with the update coming later this fall, but Apple did release the Safari 14 update for macOS Catalina and macOS Mojave users. Safari 14 brings improved performance, customizable start pages, a Privacy Report to see which cross-site trackers are being blocked, and a new tab bar design that provides tab...

Apple Updates AirPods 2 and AirPods Pro Firmware to Version 3A283

Monday September 14, 2020 11:24 am PDT by
Apple today released new 3A283 firmware updates for the second-generation AirPods and the AirPods Pro. The second-generation AirPods are being updated from the 2D15 firmware they were previously running, while the AirPods Pros are being updated from the 2D27 firmware they had installed previously. Apple does not provide details on what's included in refreshed firmware so we don't know what's ...

iOS 14 Picture in Picture No Longer Working With YouTube's Mobile Website in Safari [Without Premium]

Friday September 18, 2020 12:21 pm PDT by
Apple in iOS 14 added Picture in Picture to the iPhone, a feature designed to let you watch a video in a small screen on your device while you continue to do other things on the phone. When Picture in Picture was working with YouTube The YouTube app doesn't support Picture in Picture, but up until yesterday there was a functional workaround that allowed videos from YouTube.com to be watched...

Hands-On With the New Apple Watch Series 6 and Apple Watch SE

Friday September 18, 2020 1:19 pm PDT by
Today's the official launch date for the Apple Watch Series 6 and the Apple Watch SE, both of which Apple announced on Tuesday. We picked up a couple of the new models and thought we'd give them a quick look for MacRumors readers thinking of ordering a new watch. Apple Watch Series 6 & Apple Watch SE Hands-On! When it comes to design, both the $399 Series 6 and the $279 SE look just like...

iOS 14.2 Beta Adds New Shazam Music Recognition Feature for Control Center

Thursday September 17, 2020 3:36 pm PDT by
Apple today released the first beta of iOS 14.2 to developers for testing purposes, and the new update introduces a Music Recognition control for the Control Center. The new feature lets you discover music playing around you and it recognizes the music playing with in apps, even when you're wearing AirPods. Songs pop up as notifications, and you can tap to listen in Apple Music....

8 Third-Party Home Screen Widgets That You Can Try Out Now on iOS 14

Wednesday August 5, 2020 12:56 pm PDT by
One of the biggest new features of iOS 14 is Home Screen widgets, which provide information from apps at a glance. The widgets can be pinned to the Home Screen in various spots and sizes, allowing for many different layouts. When the iOS 14 beta was first released in June, widgets were limited to Apple's own apps like Calendar and Weather, but several third-party developers have begun to test ...

Apple Releases watchOS 7 With New Watch Faces, Family Setup, Sleep Tracking, Handwashing Help and More

Wednesday September 16, 2020 12:47 pm PDT by
Apple today released watchOS 7, the newest version of the watchOS operating system designed to run on modern Apple Watch models. The watchOS 7 update comes after several months of beta testing. ‌watchOS 7‌ can be downloaded for free through the dedicated Apple Watch app on the iPhone by going to General > Software Update. To install the new software, the Apple Watch needs to have at...