Is Foxconn Foreshadowing a Deeper Apple Downturn?

While Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Foxconn (FXCNY.PK) had a bountiful 2012 together, the designer-manufacturer duo might not be fairing so well in 2013.

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Monday, it was reported that Foxconn and Apple had hit record highs in 2012, with Apple pulling in fiscal profits amounting to $40 billion, and Foxconn saw its own profits hit a record 3.9 trillion New Taiwan Dollars (about $130 billion) while its net income reached $3.2 billion

But, now the future seems a little grimmer. The hints come from Foxconn, where it seems that many workers have very little to do. Foxconn might normally be seen pumping out iPhones, iPods, MacBooks, and iPads, but right now, it’s doing a bit less of that.

Considering a burst of new products from Apple late in the year in 2012, it was reasonable to expect a dearth of new products in the early part of 2013, and that be the reason why Foxconn has slowed down. But Foxconn also manufactures for Dell (NASDAQ:DELL) and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), so the slow down could suggest an overall slowdown in the technology sector…

It would be one thing for Apple to simply be slow because it has no new products coming out, but it would be another thing entirely for the slowdown to be related to the industry-wide problem. A weak quarter now could counteract what some think may be a strong June quarter.

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Foxconn had announced it would be hiring 5000 more employees and reducing workers hours while increasing their pay, but 3 percent of the company’s employees didn’t return after the Lunar New Year holiday, which further signals possible trouble.

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