updated 02:45 pm EDT, Thu March 22, 2012
Foxconn succeeds despite rising costs
Foxconn International reported a return to profit for 2011. Although relatively slight, its $72.8 million was a sharp reversal from a $218.3 loss the year before. Officials credited the turnaround to a broader shift towards smartphones among its broader customers, including Huawei, Motorola, Nokia, and Sony, raising the overall money it made.
"Capacity optimization" in some areas, as well as new customers, was also playing a part. The remarks were euphemisms for job cuts that had shed about 27,819 positions over the past year, bringing it to 98,868 mostly assembly line-based workers.
The results don't directly touch on Foxconn Technology, the International company's parent and the one directly responsible for mainland Chinese plants used by Apple, Dell, HP, Microsoft, and Nintendo, among others. However, the performance may help the company across the board and helps the Taiwan-based parent company maintain a decision to increase pay again for Chinese workers.
For Motorola and Sony, 2011 represented one of the last effective years of supporting basic feature phones. Nokia's shift to Windows Phone is putting more emphasis its own smartphones, and Huawei has signaled a major shift to smartphones for 2012 that includes phones like the Ascend D quad and Ascend P1 S.