Chengdu Stories October 29, 2012

New Shenzen, China Apple Store scheduled for grand opening this Saturday

Cupertino-based Apple is set to open its first Apple Store in Shenzhen, China on Nov. 3 at 9 a.m., as confirmed on its website earlier this morning. The store is located in Yitian Holiday Plaza at Nanshan district of Shenzhen, and it marks the seventh store in China. Apple CEO Tim Cook and company are moving aggressively into the country to keep up with their 2010 goal of 25 stores by the end of 2012.

If Shenzhen sounds like a familiar city in China, it is because the city serves as one of the biggest hubs for the manufacturing of parts for Apple products. Shenzhen is home to Foxconn—a factory where the brute of Apple devices are being produced daily.

When touring Apple’s biggest retail store in China last month, Apple Senior Vice President of Retail John Browett confirmed the Shenzhen storeMIC Gadget noted many “rich people live in this part of the city so the demographics are very good for high end retailers.”

According to several local media, Apple is also set to open a new store in Chengdu, China where the iPad is manufactured. Apple has yet to confirm, but it has ramped up employee hiring.

The company has reiterated the importance of China to Apple several times. During its Q4 earnings call last Thursday, CFO Peter Oppenheimer announced Apple gained $5.7 billion in revenue during Q4 and $23.8 billion FY2012 from China.

In other Apple retail news: Apple opened a gorgeous store in Palo Alto, Calif., this weekend

Chengdu Stories May 24, 2012

Reuters reported today, while citing Japanese business daily Nikkei, that Sharp will supply its technology to Hon Hai for a new Foxconn plant that will produce panels for devices like Apple’s iPhone. The move follows an investment from Foxconn’s parent company Hon Hai Precision in March, which agreed to buy 46.48-percent of Sharp’s LCD plant in Japan and $844 million in new shares for an 11 percent stake of the company.

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s Sharp Corp will supply technological know-how to Taiwan’s Hon Hai Precision Industry Co for a plant in China that will produce panels for Apple Inc’s iPhone and other consumer electronics products, the Nikkei business daily said on Thursday.

As for what technology Sharp will provide, the report only specified it will be “aimed at improving quality management” at a future plant in Chengdu. Sharp will reportedly receive “tens of billions of yen in fees” through the partnership, and it announced plans today to buy back Sony Corp’s 7.04-percent stake in its Sakai, Japan-based plant.

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Chengdu Stories March 12, 2012

With Apple currently allowing the Fair Labor Association to inspect the working conditions of its supply chains abroad, a new report from NPR profiled 25 of the 59 workers injured in an explosion at the Pegatron iPad factory in Shanghai, China last December (audio here – MP3). The explosion was attributed to a build-up of aluminum particles. According to Pegatron, it started in the machinery meant to collect the dust. Today’s report from NPR gives us a look into the conditions of the Shanghai plant before, during, and after the explosion from the eyes of workers.

A similar explosion months before in May at a Foxconn factory in Chengdu was the focus of The New York Times’ recent story sparking controversy over Apple’s suppliers. Zhang Qing explained to NPR that Apple inspected the Shanghai factory just hours before the explosion:

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Chengdu Stories February 13, 2012

Following the release of Apple’s “2012 Supplier Responsibility Report,” Apple announced it would be the first technology company admitted to the Fair Labor Association. The FLA will “independently assess facilities in Apple’s supply chain,” and then publish its independent findings online. Apple announced through a press release today that the first audits have officially started with FLA President Auret van Heerden and his team beginning inspections at Foxconn City in Shenzhen. Apple CEO Tim Cook said the audits are “unprecedented in the electronics industry”: expand full story

Chengdu Stories July 10, 2011

The Chinese Economic Daily News via Bloomberg reports that Foxconn plans on spending NT$47B to build stores in China which will sell Apple products, which of course it also produces.  The information was relayed by the unit’s Chairman Steve Chang.

Back in January, we reported:

Foxconn subsidiary Cybermart has been granted retail permission from Apple and will begin selling Apple products in April of this year. Cybermart currently has 34 stores across the Greater China area, with 7-8 more stores planned for 2011. The report also states that Cybermast is planning to open as many as 500 stores, that will retail Apple products, in the future.

Foxconn is becoming a pretty powerful player in Apple’s fortunes in China and the world.

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Chengdu Stories May 23, 2011

Besides the extremely unfortunate loss of life, Bloomberg posts a dire scenario on iPad production laid out by IHS iSuppli this evening:

The drop in manufacturing will depend on how long the plant is closed following a May 20 explosion that killed three people and injured at least 15, according to ISuppli. The total could be even greater if the suspension of operations at the facility lasts longer than a month, the firm said.

Another Foxconn factory in Shenzhen that produces iPads may not be able to make up for the lost output, ISuppli said. The manufacturing breakdown may lead Apple to miss ISuppli’s forecast of 7.4 million iPad 2 shipments in the quarter ending in June, the El Segundo, California-based research firm said.

Not all analysts are as down with Apple Bull Shaw Wu saying there may not be cause to worry.  He said in a report today that the concerns are “overdone” and that production at other facilities is being ramped up to make up for the shortfalls. He expects Apple to sell 6.8 million iPads in the June quarter.

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