“Hewlett-Packard and Dell Inc are keeping a close eye on a big jump in wages for workers that assemble Apple Inc’s iPhone in China, and could be forced to nudge up prices for their own products if labor costs keep rising,” Noel Randewich and Poornima Gupta report for Reuters.

“Major contract manufacturer Foxconn Technology Group — which counts Apple, HP, Dell, Nokia and Motorola Mobility among its major clients — last week raised wages for its workers in China by 16-25 percent, the third hike since 2010,” Randewich and Gupta report. “The wage increases reflect a rising trend across the Chinese electronics manufacturing industry and could pressure already wafer-thin margins at the likes of HP and Dell.”

“‘HP and Dell’s PCs could cost a bit more. Those companies have been trying to pass on extra costs. It may or may not work. Their products aren’t as differentiated as Apple’s,’ said Shaw Wu, an analyst at Sterne Agee in San Francisco,” Randewich and Gupta report. “Foxconn’s February wage hike was announced days after Apple said a U.S. non-profit labor group had begun an ‘unprecedented’ inspection of working conditions at its main contract manufacturers, including Foxconn. Foxconn’s wage increase comes as Chinese electronics manufacturers face higher costs to attract workers.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Overheard at FUD, Inc.: Oh shit, now this is boomeranging back on us! With our yellow journalist buddies, we tried to put the brakes on Apple, but they’re the only ones with margins. Now WTF are we going to do?!

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Sarah” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
ABC News ‘Nightline’ airs report on Foxconn factories (with video) – February 22, 2012
Apple supplier Foxconn again lifts pay for China workers; 16-25 percent increase – February 17, 2012
FLA President: Foxconn factories ‘first-class; way, way above average’ – February 15, 2012
Apple CEO Tim Cook calls New York Times supplier report ‘patently false and offensive’ – January 27, 2012