In the latest indication that the slump in sales of Apple’s most recent batch of iPhones isn’t a transitory trend, Nikkei Asia Review on Friday reported that Foxconn, one of Apple’s biggest and most important iPhone suppliers, is cutting seasonal staff more swiftly than in previous years, a sign that it is bracing for weak sales in the months ahead as the industry suffers its worst downturn in 10 years.
Normally, the 50,000 contract workers who have been let go at Foxconn’s most important factory in Zhengzhou would have been kept around for a few more months, as the manufacturer gradually reduced its employee head count.
The report comes after Apple announced plans to cut iPhone production for the second time in two months.
Around 50,000 contract workers have been let go since October at Foxconn Technology Group’s most important iPhone factory at Zhengzhou, in China’s Henan Province, according to an industry source familiar with the situation. Normally, the contracts of these workers would be renewed every month from August until mid- to late January, when the workforce is traditionally scaled back for the slow iPhone production season.