Foxconn: Hiring freeze about Chinese New Year and ‘not related to any single customer; any speculation to the contrary is false and inaccurate’

“Apple Inc’s manufacturing partner Foxconn Technology Group has frozen hiring at a Shenzhen plant that makes gadgets including the iPhone 5 and put the brakes on recruiting for other factories across China, but said the move was not linked to any single client,” Clare Jim and Jennifer Saba report for Reuters.

“Foxconn, which runs a network of factories across the world’s No. 2 economy that make products for tech companies from Hewlett Packard to Dell, sought to pour cold water on a Financial Times report that it had imposed a hiring freeze while it slows production of Apple’s latest smartphone,” Jim and Saba report. “‘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,’ the company said in a statement. ‘This action is not related to any single customer and any speculation to the contrary is false and inaccurate.”

Jim and Saba report, “Like other Chinese contract manufacturers, Foxconn relies on a large number of migrant laborers from across the country, who journey home for the most important holiday of the year. Many do not make it back to work, but Foxconn spokesman Louis Woo said this year they saw as many as 97 percent of employees return.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The fix is still in.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “Arline M.” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
World’s best-selling smartphone: Apple iPhone 5; iPhone 4S #2, third place Samsung Galaxy 3 brings up rear – February 20, 2013
Foxconn freezes hiring across China; unrelated to iPhone production; Apple shares decline anyway – February 20, 2013

33 Comments

  1. This information was known early this morning and yet Bloomberg kept using this BS to bash Apple and it’s stock down all day. Even blamed Apple for the Java hack that Apple fixed yesterday and stated it as Apple was still exposed.

    Getting tired of this crap and Apple’s board bending us over a little more for another daily screwing from Wall Street! TIME TO MAN UP APPLE!

    1. +1

      apple seems to not want to defend itself in so many ways. Cook had a wonderful opportunity at the Goldman Sachs Investors Conference to right some misconceptions about Apple’s financial performance as reported by the press but did a woeful job. He failed to convince big investors. This can be seen by the drop of 5% since the conference. (Non investing fanboys praised Cook’s performance thinking that the conference was something like AllThingsD i.e a ‘tech fest’ for nerds, it was not. It was for investors and investors weren’t convinced. )

      In spite of good financials and good products aapl continues to get crushed as Cook has be unable to change the ‘perception’ of apple as a failing company. Every time I read about apple in my local paper , the articles are prefaced with things like “the struggling silicon valley company, missed earnings multiple times, apple which is losing the innovation crown to Samsung and market-share to android etc”. Wire service reports from reuters etc are filled with news like that. Mainstream publications like Consumer Reports (which I agree as an apple fan is garbage) but which lots of mainstream people make reference to has more than 10 android phones ranked higher than the iPhone.

      And yet apple doesn’t fight back.

      In old days there were the Think Different Campaign, the Mac PC guys etc. Now almost nothing. Even with Windows 8 Vista out there with terrible reviews etc. Apple doesn’t attack. Samsung makes fun of apple for years in the Super Bowl and other ads and apple doesn’t fight back!

      Google and Samsung has P.R people travelling around the world giving talks about how Apple lawsuits shows that apple is no longer innovating but trying to stifle innovation by lawsuits. Google is changing the ‘perception’ and Apple does nothing about it. Every couple of weeks some Google exec talks about Android gaining market share and iOS ‘fading’ without mentioning profits and Apple says squat (hardly anybody except the ardent apple fans realizes apple is taking all the mobile profits).

      When you just stand around and take it people start to have the perception that maybe you don’t have the goods.

      Tim Cook doesn’t have the fighting spirit of Jobs.

      Tim Cook was rumoured to have not wanted to fight Samsung with lawsuits in the first place and it was thought that he got rid of Forstall (whose OSX and iOS makes 80% of apple’s profits) because Forstall was hard to get along with (Maps was just an excuse, sales and consumer satisfaction polls shows maps wasn’t a big issue). So Cook wants peace and quiet. This old ‘clock maker’ attitude might make him good as a supply chain manager but it doesn’t inspire (to investors) as a CEO .

      Cook also doesn’t like PR or marketing.

      Apple’s ad budget is many times smaller than it’s rivals. Samsung’s ad budget alone is several times larger than apple’s. Apple’s washington lobbying expenditure is 2 million , google’s is 18 million. etc.

      This lack of spending in effort and money in controlling ‘perception’ has allowed analysts, the financial press, the mainstream press, politicians, social groups , Apple’s rivals like samsung and Google to use Apple as a daily punching bag.

      1. I will say that if they reanimated Steve Jobs today, all he’d do is bend over and fart on the Wall Street ‘Apple Bears’. Tim Cook is a much more amenable and kindly person.

        All of which has NOTHING AT ALL to do with the health of Apple. If all Wall Street wants is someone to tell the to ‘F*CK OFF’ in order for them to be all ImPReSSeD and stuff, obviously they are the ones with serious problems. Consider me an ‘Apple Bear’ BEAR. And yes little dumdum bears, I personally will tell you to ‘F*CK OFF’. I hope you’re now all tingling with eXciTeMenT! * # ! % ! wooo!

            1. You have heard the argument that screaming “Fire” in a crowded theatre? Free speech is wonderful when coupled with responsibility and in this case, showing respect for the audience reading it.

            2. I have many people here who stalk me or hate my guts for my providing of factual information and informed opinion. Add on top of that my very public ridicule of these ridiculous people and you know a flame war is going to result.

              What’s amusing is that IRL I am an active proponent of peace and reconciliation. However, I am just too damned good at troll trampling to stop contributing this skill to the Apple community. As I see it, ripping the masks off stupid is a public service well worth my time and effort.

              IOW: Grumpy 3l3c7ro will remain grumpy 3l3c7ro, and I will remain here to point that out, etc. 😀

            3. @DC

              you don’t own apple stock yet you spend so much time bashing people who do even those why are basically positive about apple (products, profits) but is only suggesting that perhaps apple could do more for investors (people who have so much faith in apple they actually bought shares and have rights to an opinion). And are they wrong to have things to complain when the shares have dropped from 700+ to 400+ in few months? (i. e apple will need to nearly double it’s share value to get back to where it was)

              also because people like you who don’t own apple stock over and over again have shown yourself to to be woefully ignorant many aspects of apple and it’s finances and it’s responsibilities to shareholders, because as non shareholders you have little interest in those issues.

              why are you all non apple shareholders so SOUR about apple shareholders, are you just sour you just have no money to invest, (or you have money to invest but no faith in apple.. ?)

            4. This has nothing to do with Apple doing anything at all for investors. Try again. Think about what is being done to Apple investors by people who are not actually ‘invested’ in Apple and would rather see them keel over and die. What does THAT do to actual Apple investors?

              The clue word of the day is: THINK, as in THINK outside the box and gain some perspective. It won’t hurt. It will help.

        1. didn’t answer any of my points:

          just “F*ck Off”.

          really intelligent.
          (is what I’ve said wrong? Isn’t the press filled with negative apple articles today?)

          “If all Wall Street wants is someone to tell the to ‘F*CK OFF’ in order for them to be all ImPReSSeD and stuff, … ”

          did I argue that?
          I’m saying apple cook has failed to reverse the preception of Apple as a ‘failing’ company (this is unarguable as after the G.S investors conference the stock has tanked another 5%), I’m saying he should do a better P.R job not asking him to say “fuk off to investors”.

          trying to patch over the fact that apple has lost 40% of its share value and P.E is now ex cash HALF the S&P average and this is not serious (to investors) is silly. P.E ratio is a big indicator of the ‘perception’ a company has.

          If you don’t care about aapl stock why do you bother posting in reply to me?

          How does anything I’ve said like Tim Cook doing a better P.R job hurting apple as a “PRODUCT PRODUCER”?. If you’re not an apple investor (or not significantly invested) I’m not hurting you i.e apple will still be humming along producing products you love so why this VEHEMENT HATE for what I’ve said. Did I say some no-no like Samsung products are better … ?

          Apple is a huge giant comapany with 137 billion in the bank not a mom and pop operation, doing more marketing and p.r isn’t going to cripple it and use up all its resources, making more money than anyone else it can’t HIRE people to do better P.R?

          big investors hold 70% of apple stock, if they don’t get returns they will act (e.g Einhorn). Stockholders have removed the CEOs of Palm, HP (several times), Nokia, Acer, Rim (the founders) etc. and these are just tech companies.

          Don’t please them and they will waste more of apple’s time like Einhorn (than spending time on marketing and P.R).

          Let me be clear : my belief is that aapl will go up if apple does a better job explaining itself (PR) and stockholders will be rewarded. apple can make money, make products but if it does not reverse ‘perception’ the stock will continue to lanquish.

          But in end what YOU think is irrelevant to me
          what big investors think does matter to me as they investing pushing up my apple stock. You… ?
          to use you won favorite word : who gives a ‘fuk’ ?

          1. By all reports Jobs was not a fan of shareholders and did not regard it as part of his job to make them happy. Mr. Cook seems to share most of this philosophy. From the perspective of achieving long-term success, this is probably the best attitude for a company to take.
            Personally, If Mr. Cook explicitly and loudly told shareholders to go jump in the lake, I would look to investing even more money into Apple.

            1. @McDruid
              — one steve jobs wasn’t into shareholders because apple stock was booming at the time. You had pullbacks but the stock bounced back very quickly and the P.E was much much higher.

              even at 700 aapl was undervalued. and the P.E has been getting more and more compressed for years already. In jobs mid term aapl P.E was well over 20 , i.e if that was the level now the shares would be over a 1000.

              Two Jobs was also an icon. Apple didn’t need a lot of marketing because jobs was a marketing phenom himself , reporters hung on every word he said (he was on the cover of Time, Newsweek etc when he launched the iPhone etc). Jobs was actually everywhere lobbying, he had personal contacts with the WSJ etc. And he had the ability to project himself and the image of apple.

              Jobs was a ROUNDED CEO, he was product guy but he was also a MARKETING guy (look at the think different Ad campaign, the – at that time – innovative iPod rock musci ads etc). He marketed against Windows with Mac PC ads, he gave demos of how much faster Power Macs were vs PCS in photoshop demos etc. Jobs was very interested in perception.

              Jobs is gone and no use lamenting about it BUT without Jobs Apple needs to UP its marketing and PR not reduce it. where the generic apple ads like the Mac PC guy ads?

              “Personally, If Mr. Cook explicitly and loudly told shareholders to go jump in the lake, I would look to investing even more money into Apple.”

              and how many billions $ do you have?
              if Cook ever said that the big shareholders (the funds) would fire him via the Board (whom they elect) . (this shows how clueless you are)

              Like I said i can’t understand why you guys have so much hate for what I said: Like how is apple telling people (the mainstream press) etc that they are doing well and their innovation is top notch to correct mis preceptions so ‘evil’ in your thinking? Like I said Cook doesn’t even need to do it himself, he can just hire someone to do it.

              Now like I said my newspaper whenever the talk about apple is prefaced with “the fading tech giant, lost innovation to Samsung, iPad mini plays catch up to small android tablets etc” with similar from Reuters, CNN , CNBC etc.
              Google has full time ‘evangelists’ travelling the globe dissing apple for not being as innovative as Android “that’s why apple is stooping to lawsuits”. You think apple is wasting its time fighting back with PR and marketing against this? When investors read all this they hestitate to gamble.

              once again trying paste over the fact that aapl P.E is now ex cash less than half the S&P average , less than even some no growth utility companies, is not a serious problem and P.E indicates preception and apple need to do something abouit it for investors then you are stupid or have so little invested you have little skin in the game.

            2. Apple Seems To Have : You’re beating your head against the wall. What these folks don’t understand is that Apple is not a privately held company. Of course the CEO and all management have a fiduciary responsibility to the shareholders. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen the comment that Steve Jobs didn’t give a flying crap about the shareholders. Of course he did. He realized why there was an Apple company. Without the shareholders there would be no Apple. But Steve was the consummate promoter. He constantly beat the drum about wanting to build the best product. Most companies say the same thing but don’t always follow through. Jobs tried his best to make sure that Apple did make the best product possible. But he was the CEO of Apple so of course he cared what the shareholders thought. Without their money he wouldn’t be able to make those great products. But why admit it in public? It’s much easier to have that rebel attitude because it sells well. But as you state, he’s not there now so we need to move on. As I’ve said before, Apple needs a person out in front pushing their products. Because as great as all the stuff Apple made when Steve Jobs was alive he was still constantly promoting them. All those great products didn’t sell themselves without a little help. So if it was a good idea to promote when Steve jobs was alive why on earth would it not be an even better idea now that Apple is in a very slow period? Now is when they need it! Steve was pushing the new iPod, iMac, iPhone and iPad. Those products are not new anymore. They’re still the best but somebody needs to get out there and bang the drum. And I’m tired of hearing people say Apple should just stick to making good products. They made great products when Steve Jobs was alive and still promoted them. Making great products is one thing and promoting them is another. One does not cancel out the other.

            3. +1

              “They made great products when Steve Jobs was alive and still promoted them. Making great products is one thing and promoting them is another. One does not cancel out the other.”

      2. It seems ppeterson has changed his handle.

        Apple advertises heavily when introducing something new. They don’t, and never have, wasted it in on-going awareness splatter like you see from Microsoft and Samsung.

        Your comparisons of old campaigns confuses how marketing is handled these days.

        Marketing programs have three prongs: Frequency, Reach and Impact.

        You become aware of Apple’s advertising when it reaches you. Right now it might not be reaching you, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t going on.

        The frequency is obvious, but only when it reaches you. If you’re not the target market, no amount of frequency will reach you.

        Impact is what effect the advertising has on the target market. “Think Different” was not a product campaign designed to get to buy a product. “I’m a Mac” was also a branding piece. Apple is doing less branding right now because they’re the number 1 recognized brand in the world according to Forbes annual surveys several years running.

        That leaves you with product advertising, in print, on the Internet and on the airwaves.

        If you’re not seeing the iPad and iPod ads then you’re not in place to see them where they are. But that doesn’t mean Apple isn’t doing them.

        Since neither Apple nor Samsung detail their advertising expenditures your claim, stated so authoritatively, amounts to nothing. Doing so repeatedly causes everyone around you to roll their eyes and ignore you.

        And why even bring Washington lobbying into the discussion at all? Because you could find or make up some numbers? That’s the weirdest train of thought presented here in a while.

        And your whole paragraph about Tim Cook is nothing more than preconceived conclusions looking for evidence. You take rumor and innuendo and weave it together to fit your preconceived notions of the man with not a shred of real world knowledge. Take the Samsung lawsuit for example. How has it benefitted Apple, either in truth or in perception? The perception in the general public has been that Apple couldn’t fight the competition so they turned to the courts. Gee, Steve, how’d that work out for you? And in truth, what products are banned? None. What patents have been upheld? None. “See you in appeals” translates to years of nothing other than lawyer bills. So I could argue just as authoritatively that Tim Cook had a better long-term view of what that lawsuit would cause than Steve did.

        You want to point out that Forstall was responsible for 80% of Apple’s profits but check the timeline: Scott was SVP of iOS Engineering leading up to the first slow down in profit growth for the company. If you’re caustic to the teams who get the work done, and the business starts slowing down, you don’t have many supporters backing you up.

        Tim doesn’t swear at you like Steve did. Tim doesn’t call you stupid when you put forth a half-baked idea like Steve did. That doesn’t mean he’s a peace-and-quiet guy, not at all. I’m reminded of a famous saying: Speak softly but carry a big stick.

        And glorify Steve all you want, while vilifying Tim all you want, but make no mistake that since Steve picked Tim to succeed him, you only make yourself look stupid putting forth half-baked ideas.

        1. man you have the gall to criticize my post “you only make yourself look stupid putting forth half-baked ideas.” as yours if filled with ignorance:

          e.g: you say “Since neither Apple nor Samsung detail their advertising expenditures your claim, stated so authoritatively, amounts to nothing.”

          REALLY? That shows how absolutely clueless you are. Samsung and apple lists out their ad spending in their financial statements.
          Look at the chart given by Asymco. (Asymco.com ” the cost of selling Galaxies” ) won’t link the page as it might be tagged as spam but google it all you want.
          Samsung spends several times apple in marketing.

          As for forstall: iOS which he headed makes about 60% of apple’s profits now, he was also heavily involved in Mac OSX which makes another 20%. He championed OSX to be morphed into iOS , an internal competition vs the people who wanted an iPod phone.

          as for your arguments that apple is so successful in it’s PR then can I ask again why is apple stock’s P.E half of the S&P average? P.E like I said is a lead indicator for perception (people perceive that apple isn’t doing well so they don’t buy versus earnings, that’s why the P.e gets compressed) Why is the news filled with negative apple articles? Apple is described as ‘struggling, failing, missed estimates, lost its innovation crown to samsung ‘ in numerous press articles etc. also apple is beginning to lose it’s crown for key customer and branding polls.

          for example CLEI index (customer awareness) now puts Samsung tops for smartphones. The CLEI surveys 39,000 U.S households and because of it’s large sample size is treated as very accurate.
          Look at the statement at the Marketing Loyalty association website: apple is now perceived : ” Apple is no longer as innovative as it was under Jobs. The iPhone 5 and the iPad mini, the company’s last two products, aren’t selling nearly as well as earlier Apple products at the same stage after introduction.”

          (Look i’m NOT saying Samsung is better or the statements true but I’m saying among non apple fans Apple is losing the perception war. I know Apple is better but I’m saying apple is not fighting back)

          I didn’t bother to answer the rest of your stupidities as I’ve already shown you don’t know what you are talking about.

          as we can see I can BACK up my assertions but you saying I’m off base, can you back up YOURS

          1. Then enlighten me, please.

            http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/320193/000119312513022339/d453687d10q.htm

            Search for the word “advertising” in their 10Q and give me the dollars.

            Apple does NOT break out their advertising dollars. It is included in Selling, General and Administrative, which covers all manner of running a business except for R&D which has a separate line item.

            But no matter, right? Others try to figure it out, like Business Insider “…reached out to Kantar Media…” http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-samsung-and-apple-ad-spend-2012-9

            It’s interesting how they found Apple to outspend Samsung almost exactly 2 to 1 in the first half of 2012.

            But, hey, that’s kind of old and Google and Yahoo! aren’t showing any newer research.

            So back on the perception soapbox: http://www.mobileyouth.org/post/can-samsung-beat-apple-by-spending-more-on-advertising/

            Now, I’d never heard of this outfit before, but since they report “Some of our clients” and list Google and Samsung but not Apple, perhaps we can give them more credibility than if only Apple (and not the other two) was their client. Here’s the salient conclusion they report: “Volume of conversations around Samsung momentarily surge above Apple related talk when Samsung launches a new ad campaign. After the initial hysteria, Samsung loses its relevance and people stop talking about the brand.”

          2. I owe you an apology for part of this. I did not do the Google search you offered on Asymco initially. I just did and see where they first report what I was reporting: Advertising is a part of SG&A which Apple doesn’t break out. That’s true in the quarterly reports. Asymco said the got the advertising dollars from the annual report, so I downloaded that from Edgar Online and here is the one line of information on Advertising Costs: Advertising costs are expensed as incurred. Advertising expense was $1.0 billion, $933 million and $691 million for 2012, 2011 and 2010, respectively.

            So, I was wrong.

            As one commenter on the Asymco article noted, Samsung Electronics covers a lot of industries, not just handsets, so it makes sense they would incur more advertising and promotion dollars than Apple (or HP or Dell or Coca Cola). I used Yahoo! to search for “samsung electronics product portfolio” and had to click the Filter By Time “Past Month” to skip over the 2006+ years. Medical imaging, home entertainment, digital air (?) all show up on the first page of hits.

            Regardless of what it takes for Samsung to advertise and promote their diverse product portfolio, I apologize for stating that Apple does not break out their advertising dollars.

            1. wow ok

              you are man enough to admit a mistake
              that says something about your character, almost never see anything like that on forum boards.

              have a good day

  2. I suspect that a larger percentage of people returned to Foxconn after the holidays because of the salary increases over the past couple of years. Those jobs have become more valuable because the alternatives do not fare as well in comparison.

    That’s just a guess, though.

  3. ‘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’

    This is what happens when companies treat their employees with RESPECT. They want to continue working there. And yes, that means:
    1) Lower training costs
    2) Fewer worker disputes
    3) Efficiency Efficiency Efficiency!

    So Wall Street bizTards, be sure to sell off your AAPL shares today because, dammit! More good Apple news! Ya just can’t shake the stuff. It’s gonna happen no matter how ‘Apple Bearish’ you wanna be. So just give up and get out. Apple continues to thrive despite you. 😀

  4. Yes when it comes to Apple these days…..”the emperor has no clothes….” continues to play on my mind. It just all makes sense and the investors know it. Something smell and its rotten.

  5. The only thing rotten is what is in the investors pants and the idiots that broadcast the BS without actually finding out the truth. Tim Cook is in full control and knows what he’s doing. All the BS by the press and investors doesn’t impress him one bit. Apple has a plan and will stick with it.

  6. And of course, EVERY rumor monger, lie starter, Apple Hater and HACK PHONY JOURNALIST, sends billions of FACT FLASHES to trading houses around the world and the math folks that load up the quant formulas daily and it’s off to the races for the machines that take another $ 15 or $ 20 billion market share away from Apple share holders and blow it up some fund managers backside as a joy-jolt… What a COMPLETELY corrupted and fake system . A fully legal, illegal gambling consortium bought and paid for by you and me – the little guy. It’s rigged, built on lies and open anew every day.

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