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Foxconn fired 50,000 workers since last year

Other manufacturers follow suit

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Will 2019 herald Apple’s downfall? Within the last few weeks, the tech giant has issued warnings about its potentially rocky future. Apple CEO Tim Cook has even tempered his expectations in an investor’s note. If anything, Apple’s 2019 is one to watch.

Now, another potential problem has popped up for the ailing company. Foxconn, one of the world’s largest iPhone producers, has fired 50,000 workers ahead of schedule. According to Nikkei Asian Review, the workers came from Zhengzhou, where iPhones are primarily made.


The company’s system often releases workers after a huge production cycle, marking the industry’s customary lull period when demand is low. However, Foxconn’s latest pink slips have gone ahead of the usual schedule. Usually, the firings come around this time of the year. Foxconn has been firing workers since October last year. The move echoes the industry’s sentiments of a declining smartphone market.

Throughout the past year, demand has steadily declined. According to Cook, Apple’s downfall draws from the company’s revised battery replacement program. Existing users are replacing their batteries, rather than upgrading to the latest model. While the decision is the most economic for users, Apple’s success relied on consistent user upgrades year after year.

The market’s poor demand has also affected other manufacturers. Besides Foxconn, Pegatron, another critical iPhone maker, has fired workers since November.

Of course, both manufacturers also cater to other tech companies. For example, Foxconn also produces devices for Acer and Dell.

Underscoring all of these, the Sino-American trade war has sorely affected the global economy. Most companies today are increasingly wary of global politics. While Apple is feeling most of the pressure, global tensions will likely affect other companies as well.

SEE ALSO: Rumor: Apple plans to resurrect iPod and switch to USB-C iPhones

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Qualcomm drops all charges against Apple

Agrees to new multi-year deal

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In just a few weeks, the war for the Iron Throne will finally come to a swift conclusion. However, before that happens, one of the real world’s most intense corporate fights has ended. Earlier today, Qualcomm and Apple have buried the hatchet, ending an eternity’s worth of petty banter and litigious strife. Before its end, the conflict has cost both companies billions of dollars.

Previously, Qualcomm ordered Apple to pay US$ 31 million in damages. The subsequent trials were supposed to determine Apple’s final fees. At the eventual trial, Qualcomm and Apple declared the ceasefire, dismissing all cases worldwide.


Further, both companies have agreed to a new multi-year deal. In Apple’s case, the iPhone maker has agreed to pay off an undisclosed amount of royalties to Qualcomm for six years. On the other hand, Qualcomm has also agreed to provide chipsets for several years. To top it all off, Apple will pay an undisclosed one-time fee.

On paper, the deal seems like a victory for Qualcomm. The chipmaker finally attained its goal: to get royalties from Apple. Before the situation escalated, Qualcomm complained about Apple’s allegedly illegal usage of its chips. Finally, all conflicts have been resolved.

Besides the end of the trials, the resolution can potentially speed up Apple’s production of a 5G-capable iPhone. Without Qualcomm’s help, Apple’s 5G iPhone would have launched between 2020 and 2021. Now, Qualcomm can help Apple achieve this earlier.

Surprisingly, Qualcomm and Apple’s peace treaty has sent shockwaves across the industry. Intel, another player in the 5G race, has suddenly backed out of the 5G smartphone market, leaving the race open for Qualcomm, Samsung, and Huawei.

SEE ALSO: Samsung and Qualcomm refuse to sell 5G modems to Apple

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Foldable phones are not the future, OnePlus CEO says

No plans for a foldable OnePlus anytime soon

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Foldable smartphones have dominated the year. Since the start of 2019, smartphone makers have declared their intentions of joining the foldable craze. Samsung, OPPO, Huawei, and Energizer have each announced (or hinted at) their own entries coming later in the year. Undoubtedly, everyone wants to cash in on the market’s latest innovation. Except OnePlus, that is.

In an interview translated from Italian, OnePlus CEO Pete Lau confirmed his company’s absence from the foldable craze. While the company has contemplated on a foldable phone before, OnePlus ultimately decided against the idea. Lau believes that the foldable market does not represent the future of smartphones. He cites the device’s high production cost and lack of truly innovative features.


Of course, the high production cost has always been a factor. Currently, the foldable smartphone is the market’s most expensive device. On the other hand, the lack of innovation has only been a sneaking suspicion. Current marketing strategies have hyped the form factor as the next best thing.

However, Lau raises a good point: It adds a lot of uncertainties, particularly the increased weight. Ultimately, a foldable smartphone does not offer anything completely different from regular phone.

At the very least, Lau still recognizes the potential of the foldable screen. Tech companies can still incorporate the new technology into other devices.

Currently, OnePlus is prioritizing the development of a TV that can seamlessly communicate with smartphones. Ultimately, the company is developing ecosystems built around its devices.

As for the smartphone industry, OnePlus is gearing up for a monumental year again. Leaks have already revealed the OnePlus 7 and the OnePlus 7 Pro. The company is lining up a slew of smartphones in the future. Just don’t expect a foldable OnePlus device anytime soon.

SEE ALSO: OnePlus will reveal a 5G-enabled device at MWC 2019

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Google and Huawei forced to pay users for faulty Nexus 6P units

Affected users can get up to US$ 400

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In 2017, Google and Huawei entered a bizarre court case. A federal complaint pointed an accusatory finger against both companies for knowingly releasing faulty Nexus 6P units. The flaw involved a device-breaking boot loop issue that affected devices regardless of condition.

The plaintiffs, who were faulty Nexus 6P users, demanded an immediate product recall and restitution for affected users. According to the complaint, Google allegedly knew of the flaw but continued to sell the defective product anyway. Finally, after years of deliberation, the court is hurtling the case to its definitive end. On May 9, the Texas court, where the case was filed, will approve the final decision against Google and Huawei.


However, before this event, Google and Huawei have agreed to pay the plaintiffs and any other affected users. If approved, both companies are liable for up to US$ 9.75 million in damages. When spread out among the payees, affected users will get up to US$ 400, especially those with proper documentation. Those without documentation can get only up to US$ 75. Likewise, those who received a new Pixel XL in a related warranty exchange program can get only up to US$ 10.

Currently, the court case includes only users who purchased a Nexus 6P on or after September 25, 2015. However, the court still hasn’t issued a conclusion. Before the May event, anything can affect the outcome. Regardless, the court’s decision is a huge step for a smartphone user’s grievances, despite staying in limbo for years. Recently, dissatisfied users have grown braver, filing court cases against companies across the United States.

If anything, the delay is also a strategy for companies. To get the maximum payment, users must have kept the faulty unit for several years. The Nexus 6P was released in 2015. Since then, Google has discontinued the Nexus line, moving on to the Pixel.

SEE ALSO: Is the Google Pixel 3 Lite actually legit?

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