[Update 2: Reuters reports that Foxconn has published an earnings report showing a 20% fall in December revenues. However, the company says that its December earnings were “as expected,” and its full-year earnings are up 6.42% on the previous year, only marginally short of analyst expectations of 7%.]
[Update 1: StreetInsider reports that Foxconn has denied reports that workers started their lunar new year holiday early, and says that the government payout relates to ‘an insurance premium,’ but makes no reference to any response to the claim that it has been laying off workers.]
The WSJ is today suggesting that Apple is scaling back iPhone orders, noting that iPhone manufacturer Foxconn has been laying off workers and has received a $12.6M subsidy from the Chinese government through a program designed to minimize unemployment.
The piece notes that the subsidy is for Foxconn’s Zhengzhou plant, which is mostly devoted to iPhone production, and says that Apple has also reduced order forecasts for iPhone component makers.
Chinese iPhone factories had some idle capacity in the final two months of the calendar year, when they would typically be racing to chongliang, or “rush quantity,” for Apple, in factory-speak. Some workers at Foxconn’s Zhengzhou factory in inland China were let go on early holiday last month, one of the people involved in the supply said, although the typical new-year holiday season doesn’t start until February.