Foxconn Hiring Freeze May Be Because Of Robots, Not Slack iPhone 5 Demand $AAPL
Foxconn’s hiring freeze may also be related to Apple’s move toward using more assemblers. For example, Foxconn rival Pegatron assembles about 40 percent of iPad minis, which have taken market share away from the original iPad, manufactured by Foxconn.
Analysts, investors and Apple fanboys (and fangirls) have kept a close eye on demand for the iPhone 5 as the company weathers increasing competition from Samsung. In January, concerns that the smartphone is underperforming were fueled by reports that iPhone 5 component orders had been cut. Exane BNP Paribas analyst Alexander Peterc estimates that Apple will sell 38 million iPhone 5s this quarter, 20 percent less than the prior period.
On the other hand, Strategy Analytics recent published a report that said the iPhone 5 became the best-selling smartphone globally in Q4, overtaking Samsung’s flagship Galaxy SIII. The research firm estimates that 27.4 million iPhone smartphones shipped worldwide during Q4, compared to 15.4 million Galaxy SIII units. But, as Natasha Lomas noted, neither company discloses quarterly handset sales and comparing the performance of the two devices is somewhat unfair, because the iPhone 5 launched last September and the Galaxy SIII came out back in May, meaning that the newer Galaxy SIV may have eaten into some of its sales.