Amid rumors of plans to move to the United States, cut iPhone orders, and expansions to India, Foxconn today announced that it saw its first-ever annual sales decline in 2016 since it went public in 1991. The company’s decline is being blamed on “lukewarm” demand from Apple, its biggest client, according to Nikkei.
In 2016, Foxconn recorded revenues of $136.38 billion, down 2.81 percent compared to 2015. Apple accounts for over 50 percent of the company’s revenue.
December, however, represented a month of growth for Foxconn as it reported 9.76 percent growth year-over-year thanks to the Chinese New Year holiday and strong demand for the iPhone 7 Plus.
Investors and analysts are largely blaming Foxconn’s decline on Apple’s slow performance in 2016. Analyst Vincent Chen noted that while 2016 saw Apple and Foxconn’s first respective dips in over 15 years, 2017 looks strong for both, thanks in large part to the iPhone 8.
In 2017, Chen anticipates that Foxconn could grow by as much as 5 percent to 10 percent:
“Look forward to 2017, we think Foxconn’s revenue could grow by 5% to 10%,” said Chen. The growth drivers for the current year will come from healthier demand for the next iPhone 8 and a mild rebound in the PC market, according to Chen. Foxconn is also the world’s biggest desktop assembler.
Speaking to the press recently, Foxconn’s founder Terry Gou also noted that despite speculation that Foxconn will move to the United States, the company will stay in China. Gou didn’t rule out, however, the possibility of an increased presence in the United States.
After the announcement, Gou told reporters in Guangzhou in no uncertain terms: “Foxconn will not leave [China]. Foxconn will stay here.”
Much has been made of Apple’s performance in 2016, with analysts and investors calling for change and the company continually defending itself. It was reported several times in 2016 that Apple was cutting iPhone production, most recently just a few weeks ago when a report claimed Apple was reducing production by 10 percent in 2017. Tim Cook also saw his pay drop by $1.5 billion due to Apple’s failure to meet profit and revenue goals in 2016.