Strong demand prompts Apple suppliers to work during Chinese New Year

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Two of Apple's Chinese manufacturing partners are said to be foregoing a traditional work stoppage during the important Chinese New Year in a bid to meet ongoing high demand for the iPhone 5 and iPad mini.

Labor


Details regarding the work schedule change are scarce, but Taiwan's United Daily News (via Brightwire) claims that Hon Hai Precision Industries and Flexium Interconnect will keep certain production lines open during the Chinese New Year to keep up with demand for Apple's newest iDevices. For 2013, China's most important holiday will start on Feb. 10.

According to the publication, Hon Hai, better known as Foxconn, will be operating a number of iPhone and iPad mini assembly lines, while Flexium will keep its factory in Kunshan, Jiangsu Province staffed with "a large number" of trained student workers.

If true, the work continuation will mirror an identical decision made in 2011 by Apple manufacturing partner Pegatron, which reportedly offered employees triple pay to work over the Chinese New Year. No such bump in pay has been reported for 2013.

A move to keep production facilities online during the holiday would be an indication that supply is just barely meeting demand, as evidenced by the U.S. Apple Online Store's one-week wait time for all iPad mini models. As for the the iPhone 5, Apple proceeded with its most ambitious rollout ever and debuted the handset in its 101st market, the Caribbean island of St. Kitts, on Thursday. As pointed out by Fortune's Philip Elmer-Dewitt, the latest launch received little fanfare from press outlets.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 20
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member
    Love the recycling of the above image!

    Those girls must be pretty tired about now.

    They've been on shift for 10,000+ hours at this point in time...
  • Reply 2 of 20
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    Heck, I would work through Christmas/New Years for triple pay. Sorry granny, catch you next year.
  • Reply 3 of 20
    Looks like Apple, the beleaguered device maker isn't cutting orders back enough to match the lack of demand they are experiencing across all markets. /s
  • Reply 4 of 20
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    But how can this be possible? Just yesterday some chick on CNBC was predicting AAPL stock to drop another 30% and said she went to 10 different places which all told her not to buy an iPhone because its just image and hype. :D
  • Reply 5 of 20
    Two of Apple's Chinese manufacturing partners are said to be foregoing a traditional work stoppage during the important Chinese New Year in a bid to meet ongoing high demand for the iPhone 5 and iPad mini.

    Seems early to call such a thing. Feb 10 is 6 weeks away. Usually the catch up to demand differs 3 weeks, if Apple Online Store is any indication. Can it really be that they already know in advance that Valentine's day is going to be a smash hit for iPhone5 & iPad mini?
  • Reply 6 of 20
    The so-called analysts will say Apple is gonna fire all those workers after the over time work as next quarter will see demand drop
  • Reply 7 of 20
    They do this every year. It's not illegal in China, they are paid every well and according to reports it is by volunteer selection.

    Given that most of the workers are there to make money as as much as they can they likely welcome the extra cash oppportunity.

    And it really isn't reflective of anything other than Foxconn understanding that said period is not a major national holiday for the rest of the world so 'sorry your custom config is going to take twice as long cause the factory is on holiday' just pisses the buyers off cause they don't get why said time deserves everyone taking a week vacation at the same time
  • Reply 8 of 20

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post



    But how can this be possible? Just yesterday some chick on CNBC was predicting AAPL stock to drop another 30% and said she went to 10 different places which all told her not to buy an iPhone because its just image and hype. image




    That chick (her name is Abagail Doolittle) is a chart reader and not an analyst.  Apple has been notorious for holding the iPhone 5 stock to themselves.  Most of the carriers do not have any inventory to sell.

  • Reply 9 of 20
    philboogie wrote: »
    [Seems early to call such a thing. Feb 10 is 6 weeks away. Usually the catch up to demand differs 3 weeks, if Apple Online Store is any indication. Can it really be that they already know in advance that Valentine's day is going to be a smash hit for iPhone5 & iPad mini?

    Supply chain is more than a few weeks deep, so if you close the most labor-intensive portion for a week you must adjust production upstream and downstream of that point to keep things running smooth. The slowest or most constrained portion of the process can keep going where the oversupply will be easily absorbed.
  • Reply 10 of 20
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    It doesn't matter whether this report is true or not. It doesn't matter if it's good for Apple or not. It doesn't matter if it's a good thing for the workers or bad (making them work longer hours....horrors!).

    In the end, the only thing that matters is that the analysts will find some way to use the story as an excuse to drive Apple's stock down further.
  • Reply 11 of 20


    Another case of American "business first, family later" values trickling around the world. Every year here I feel sorry for the store employees who have to work Thanksgiving night so the Black Friday shoppers can get to their spending frenzy early. This is time those people should be with their families. And so it moves on to China, where our materialism is now keeping those workers from being with their families and enjoying some well-deserved downtime during Chinese New Year. People say America exports freedom, but having to work days that you used to have off seems like the opposite of freedom from where I sit.

  • Reply 12 of 20

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by rsdofny View Post


     Most of the carriers do not have any inventory to sell.



     


    Just checked AT&T. In stock on line as well as at every store in my zip code.

  • Reply 13 of 20
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,425member


    Keep those workers working and keep pumping out the products. We don't need any slowdowns here. Pay the workers slightly more for working on a holiday, and everybody is happy. The most important issue is keeping up with the demand, everything else is secondary.

  • Reply 14 of 20
    evilutionevilution Posts: 1,347member
    People all over the world work Christmas and new year, why is it a shock when the Chinese do it? Oh that's right, because they can stick the word APPLE in it and make it a catastrophe.
  • Reply 15 of 20
    cameronjcameronj Posts: 2,357member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ascii View Post



    Heck, I would work through Christmas/New Years for triple pay. Sorry granny, catch you next year.


    If someone from a rich country works overtime for overtime pay, it's capitalism.  If a poor person from a poor country does it, it's indentured servitude ;)

  • Reply 16 of 20
    cameronjcameronj Posts: 2,357member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by rsdofny View Post




    That chick (her name is Abagail Doolittle) is a chart reader and not an analyst.  Apple has been notorious for holding the iPhone 5 stock to themselves.  Most of the carriers do not have any inventory to sell.



    That's not true.  Right now in the States most carriers have stock of iPhones at all stores to walk out the same day.  But there's no denying that carriers push Android phones, because they make more money off them because of the lower price from Samsung et al as opposed to iPhone prices.

  • Reply 17 of 20
    cameronjcameronj Posts: 2,357member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post



    It doesn't matter whether this report is true or not. It doesn't matter if it's good for Apple or not. It doesn't matter if it's a good thing for the workers or bad (making them work longer hours....horrors!).

    In the end, the only thing that matters is that the analysts will find some way to use the story as an excuse to drive Apple's stock down further.


    This is starting to sound like the kind of despair that inevitably leads to a reversal in a stock.  I just need a chunk of you amateurish whiners to actually sell the stock to finally have some blood in the streets so we can move up freely.

  • Reply 18 of 20
    charlituna wrote: »
    They do this every year. It's not illegal in China, they are paid every well and according to reports it is by volunteer selection.

    Volunteer? Extra pay? Humbug! Mike Daisey is out to blame Apple for workers making extra pay because they're missing their holiday!
  • Reply 19 of 20
    Mike Daisey is out to blame Apple for workers making extra pay because they're missing their holiday!

    Mike Daisey ought to be put in, I don't know, but he ought to be put in!
  • Reply 20 of 20


    Sometimes, us Westerners can be so Western-centric. You think Valentine's Day is the biggest thing going at that time of year? The article dropped a major hint in our laps.


     


    Within China, regional customs and traditions concerning the celebration of the Chinese new year vary widely. People will pour out their money to buy presents, decoration, material, food, and clothing. (from the Chinese New Year wiki)


     


    It is their biggest holiday of the year.

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