February 20, 2013
Foxconn Freezes Hiring, Wall Street Dumps Apple Stock
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
Wall Street, it seems, really wants Apple to fail.
With every whiff of something that could be bad news, the sell off begins. Stock prices drop, people become panicked, and headlines are born.
Foxconn today announced a hiring freeze in all their plants across China. When the Financial Times reported this news, they cited Foxconn spokesperson Liu Kun, who claimed the freeze was related to poor demand for the iPhone 5, a claim which has been made before. In an interview with Bloomberg, a Foxconn spokesperson claimed the freeze had nothing to do with iPhone 5 demand, but some damage had already been done. At the time of this writing, Apple stock has already lost more than eight points and is hovering near the $451 mark.
Foxconn workers have just returned from their Chinese New Year break and, according to a second spokesperson speaking to Bloomberg, more employees returned to work than have in previous years.
"Due to an unprecedented rate of return of employees following the Chinese New Year holiday compared to years past, our company has decided to temporarily slow down our recruitment process," reads the Foxconn statement.
“This action is not related to any single customer and any speculation to the contrary is false and inaccurate."
True to form, Apple has given no comment in regards to this hiring freeze.
The claim demand is low for the iPhone 5 contradicts recent data from aStrategy Analytics. According to a new report, the iPhone 5 was the best selling smartphone in the world during 2012´s fourth quarter, selling 27.4 million units
The $100 cheaper iPhone 4S came in a distant second, selling 17.4 million units, leaving Samsung´s Galaxy S III in third place with 15.4 million units sold. While Android and specifically Samsung have been taking the lead in terms of marketshare, Apple´s iPhone always comes in second place, mostly because there are only three models to choose from. Samsung and other Android manufacturers have several phone molds to choose from, each at different price levels.
Tim Cook addressed the notion global demand for the iPhone has stalled out during his appearance on the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference last week. The suggestion demand has slowed has also been the driving force behind the calls for Apple to make a cheaper iPhone to sell to cheaper markets.
When asked if iPhone´s growth potential was becoming limited, Cook said the word “limited” was not "in the Apple vocabulary."
Of all the 500 million iOS devices Apple has sold since the very first iPhone, 40 percent were sold in 2012. This, says Cook, proves there´s “incredible momentum there.”
When asked about the so-called “cheap” iPhone, Cook replied: "We have made moves to make things more affordable. Instead of saying 'how can we cheapen this iPod to get [the price] lower, we said 'how can we do a great product?'"