Top iPhone suppliers give Apple investors good news

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The iPhone XS Max is 25 percent larger than any previous iOS handset. So how is it as an iPad mini replacement?
2018 iPhone sales might be a lot stronger than Apple’s share price would indicate.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

A pair of companies critical in producing the iPhone enjoyed very strong sales in November. While not definite, this is a clear hint that the recent pessimism about sales of Apple’s handsets is unjustified.

Apple’s share price has dropped about 25 percent in the past couple of months on previous equally vague but negative reports.

Today in Apple history: iPhone factory deaths spark investigation

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Foxconn
Tim Cook visits one of Apple's factories in China.
Photo: Apple

December 11: Today in Apple history: iPhone factory deaths spark investigation December 11, 2013: A Chinese labor rights group calls on Apple to investigate the deaths of several workers at a Shanghai factory run by iPhone manufacturer Pegatron.

Most controversially, one of the dead workers is just 15 years old. The underage worker reportedly succumbed to pneumonia after working extremely long hours on the iPhone 5c production line.

iPhone production could head to Vietnam to avoid U.S. trade tariffs

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iPhone XS box gold
Things don't look good for iPhone in 2019.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

iPhone assembly partner Foxconn is considering the possibility of opening a new facility in Vietnam in an effort to avoid U.S. trade tariffs.

The factory would focus specifically on iPhone production, according to a new report. Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry Vu Tien Loc says talks with Foxconn are underway.

If you think iPhones are expensive now, try making them in USA

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Terry Gou
These assembly workers could be American instead of Chinese if we’re willing to pay a lot more for our iPhones.
Photo: Foxconn

There’s a good chance the iPhone and other Apple products will be hit with tariffs in the Trump administration’s trade war with China. The president has repeatedly stated his simple solution: Make the iPhone in the United States.

But an analyst warns that moving assembly of Apple’s handsets to the U.S. would significantly increase their price.

Foxconn must cut spending ahead of ‘very difficult’ 2019

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Foxconn
One of Foxconn's many factories.
Photo: CBS

Apple’s biggest supplier, Foxconn, is having to shed a whole lot of costs. According to an internal company memo, it aims to cut 20 billion yuan ($2.9 billion) from its expenses in 2019.

This is supposedly because it faces, “a very difficult and competitive year” — although it does not expand on exactly what this means.

Foxconn denies US plant will be staffed with Chinese engineers

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Foxconn Wisconsin
Foxconn is moving to the U.S.
Photo: Foxconn

Apple’s top manufacturing partner Foxconn is denying a recent report from the Wall Street Journal that the company is looking to staff its new Wisconsin plant with employees from China.

Foxconn allegedly plans to bring engineers to fill a gap in prospective talent due to a tight labor market, the Journal claims. The plant has already been scaled back in size. Adding Chinese laborers instead of creating American jobs would certainly cause even more controversy.

Foxconn’s stellar September suggests strong iPhone XS sales

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Larry Kudlow
Apple and Foxconn have especially close business ties.
Photo: Foxconn

Foxconn is best known for assembling iPhones, so it’s watched as a sign of demand for Apple’s most important product.  The Chinese company just reported its revenue increased 30 percent last month, an indication that there’s plenty of demand for the iPhone XS models that debuted in September.

This is just the latest hint that Apple’s latest are performing well.

Foxconn teams with Wisconsin university for $100 million lab

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Foxconn signing
Foxconn's Terry Gou and UW–Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank sign a partnership agreement.
Photo: Bryce Richter/University of Wisconsin-Madison

Foxconn has pledged up to $100 million to the University of Wisconsin-Madison to fund a new research facility for its College of Engineering.

This facility will collaborate with Foxconn’s planned manufacturing plant in southeast Wisconsin. Funding will be used to investigate subjects including artificial intelligence, 8K resolution, robotics, and 5G wireless technology — along with human health areas, such as genomics research and medical imaging.

Foxconn is already scaling back plans for Wisconsin factory

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Foxconn Wisconsin
Foxconn is coming to Wisconsin.
Photo: Foxconn

State representatives in Wisconsin are worried that Apple supplier Foxconn might be about to pull off “the mother of all bait and switches” with its proposed factory in the state.

Foxconn is allegedly scaling back its plans for the factory which could get $4 billion-worth of subsidies and infrastructure spending. Despite President Trump attending the groundbreaking ceremony this past June, construction still hasn’t begun and the plant could be much smaller than originally planned.