A Foxconn spokesperson has revealed that the company is planning to downsize its workforce, according to a Reuters article by Michael Gold and Yimou Lee. The company, which is the largest contract electronics manufacturer in the world and a major supplier for Apple, is suffering from declining revenues and wage increases in China, where it is based.
The article credits the drop in revenue mostly to the decreases in prices of smartphones and other electronics. The authors note that growth in the smartphone market this year is expected to be half of the 26 achieved last year, and that by 2018 the average smartphone price will drop by 19 percent. The Foxconn spokesperson, Louis Woo, noted that even though “technology is improving, the price will still come down.”
It’s a trend we’ve seen prominently over the last year as biometric technology has found its way into more and more mobile devices. The trend was led by Apple, which sought to implement fingerprint scanning on its mobile devices as a security measure, largely to help promote and secure its Apple Pay mCommerce platform. Other smartphone makers quickly followed suite, and now even lower-end devices sport the relatively advanced technology. The increasingly crowded smartphone market has prompted industry leaders like Samsung to do some soul-searching, trying to find ways to distinguish itself from the competition as the technological advances seemingly even out.
Foxconn’s approach is a pragmatic one. Woo indicated to the reporters that while employee layoffs are looming, the company also aims to implement robotic arms to perform many of the more menial or routine manufacturing tasks.