Could iPhone 5 sales be as weak as reports on China manufacturing suggest?

Quartz

The Financial Times reports today that Foxconn, Apple’s main manufacturing partner in China, has stopped recruiting new workers amid reduced orders for the iPhone 5. The news adds heft to reports last month that Apple had cut orders for iPhone 5 parts amid weaker-than-expected demand for its flagship smartphone. Key highlights from the FT piece:

  • Foxconn has stopped recruiting nationwide for the first time since 2009, and it appears linked directly to more modest growth in iPhone 5 demand.
  • The average career of a Foxconn worker is shorter than 13 months, which means its workforce could soon shrink by tens of thousands if there’s no new hiring.
  • The recruiting freeze appears to include iPad manufacturing lines as well.

Apple’s shares, which have fallen 19% over the past three months, are down in pre-market trading. We’ve contacted the company for contact, and will update when we hear anything.



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