Foxconn gives a shoutout to Apple products after profits climb 13 percent

foxconn-workers

Apple’s lead manufacturer Foxconn reported a 13 percent rise in net profit to 106.7B new Taiwan dollars (US$3.5B) following record iPhone and iPad sales, reports the WSJ. More than 40 percent of the company’s revenue comes from Apple.

The news comes a few days after Apple supplier Pegatron reported a 22 percent rise in earnings.

Hon Hai’s results were underpinned by demand from Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple, which sold 51 million iPhones in its fiscal first quarter ended Dec. 28, 2013—up 7% from the same period the previous year [...]

Apple also said it sold a record 26 million iPads in the quarter, compared with 22.9 million in the year-ago period …

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Pegatron faces renewed labor scrutiny after death of under-age worker at iPhone 5c factory [Updated]

China Foxconn

Update: Apple has issued a statement stating that it sent medical experts to investigate and found no link to the boy’s employment. It has not commented on the fact that the worker was under-age, but it has been revealed that he used his 21-year-old cousin’s ID to get the job.

Last month we sent independent medical experts from the U.S. and China to conduct an investigation of the (Pegatron) factory. While they have found no evidence of any link to working conditions there, we realize that is of little comfort to the families who have lost their loved ones.

Apple has a long-standing commitment to providing a safe and healthy workplace for every worker in our supply chain, and we have a team working with Pegatron at their facility to ensure that conditions meet our high standards.

Original story:

China Labor Watch says Pegatron has failed to properly explain the deaths of five young workers at a factory making the iPhone 5c, including one who was found to be just 15 years old, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.

Pegatron, the Taiwanese manufacturer that employed him, said the workplace environment at the Shanghai plant was not the cause of his illness. But a spokeswoman acknowledged that several other young workers at the factory had also died in the past few months [...]

“Considering the sudden deaths of five people and the similar reason of the deaths, we believe there should be some relations between the tragedy and the working conditions in the factory,” said Li Qiang, who runs China Labor Watch …  Read more

Wall Street Journal backs up analyst reports that Apple is reducing component orders for iPhone 5c

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The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple is cutting component orders for the iPhone 5c by up to a third, reiterating the news that Apple is curtailing iPhone 5c production. This backs up a multitude of reports by industry analysts, which said that iPhone 5c demand is weaker than Apple’s initial expectations.

Apple told its Taiwanese assemblers Pegatron Corp. and Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. that shipments of the iPhone 5C in the fourth quarter would be cut, the people said. Pegatron, which analysts say assembles two thirds of the iPhone 5Cs, was told orders would be cut by less than 20%, said a person familiar with the matter. Hon Hai, which assembles the remaining low-cost iPhones, was told orders would be cut by a third, said two people familiar with the matter.

In the past, Apple CEO Tim Cook has cautioned against supplier shipments analysis as an indicator of sales performance, saying that Apple sources components from multiple manufacturers. However, the sheer number of independent reports about cuts to iPhone 5c suggests there is some underlying truth to the story. On the flip side, iPhone 5s sales seem to be booming, doing better than predicted.

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KGI’s Ming-Chi Kuo provides details on new iPads coming in Q4

Mingchi-Kuo-ipad-2013.

An analyst note from a usually reliable Ming-Chi Kuo (郭明錤) seemingly confirms our expectation that Apple will not announce new iPads on September 10th, but at a separate event later in the year.

The note makes supply chain forecasts suggesting that assembly production of the iPad 5 and iPad Mini 2 will start with low-volume production this month, and enter mass-production in the final quarter. If the tablets were to be announced on September 10th, we would expect them to be much further along the production cycle by now.

As expected, both iPad models are said to use the A7X processor, which should see be a particularly noticeable improvement on the existing A5-based Mini.

There were a couple of surprises in the note …  Read more

Picture of iPhone 5Cs leaked by Pegatron employee

iPhone-5C-Test

A quality control employee at Pegatron posted the picture above to her Weibo profile (gone now), appearing to show a large amount of iPhone 5Cs in testing mode, as noted by Nowhereelse/Engadget. The following quote was attached to the image:

“The low-end iPhone 5C to be launched for Chinese consumers in September doesn’t look much different than the Xiaomi Phone 2, right?”

It’s odd that the manufacturer does not have a better setup for testing the devices, but Engadget notes that this kind of testing setup has been seen before during factory tours.

The phone looks the same as other leaked components and mockups, and we expect it to be announced by Apple at their September 10th event. Read more

Apple gears up for expansion in China with more than 200 senior job openings

Photo: news.cn

Photo of Beijing Apple Store: news.cn

Apple appears to be preparing for increased focus on the Chinese market, with more than 200 (mostly) senior job openings appearing on LinkedIn, reports the WSJ. Some of these were added in the past three weeks, many within the last few days. Digitimes reported yesterday on Apple also seeking senior engineers in Taiwan.

With the developed market close to saturation point, the BRIC markets – Brazil, Russia, India and China – are key to Apple’s future expansion. Worldwide, smartphones represent only just over half of the total cellphone market, generating massive potential for future growth.

Apple’s challenge in China is as much a political one as it is marketing-based …  Read more