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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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OnePlus founder Carl Pei to launch his new company very soon

Something to do with the audio industry

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Last year, OnePlus, despite a renewed push for an expansive product lineup, shifted a massive portion of its head honchos around. Late last year, for one, OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei left the company for a then-unknown business venture. Now, we have an idea of what it is. Posted directly from the source, Pei is announcing his new business very, very soon.

On Twitter, Pei posted the official announcement: “Our new brand will be announced tomorrow at 11am London time.” That was almost 12 hours ago at the time of this writing, meaning the official announcement is coming practically 12 hours from now.

According to previous posts from the OnePlus founder, the new business venture will play around in the audio industry including music devices and accessories. Pei is already a known player in the industry, having spearheaded OnePlus’ forays into the audio business. Before he left, he presented the company’s take on wireless earbuds, the OnePlus Buds.

By creating a new company, Pei can focus on audio full-time. However, at this point, no one knows what the company will specifically make or even what it is called. All we know is that some investors seeded the venture with US$ 7 million.

Besides Pei, fellow co-founder Pete Lau also “exited” the company, albeit still working with other BKK companies in a joint venture to sync all of them together.

SEE ALSO: OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei leaves the company

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Huawei praises American technology, reevaluates own lineup

In rare public letter

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For a while now, Huawei has stayed silent following the recent slew of American bans. However, amid the silence, the Chinese company has suffered endless misery in the hands of the Trump administration. Now, under a new president, Huawei might finally get a well-deserved reprieve. In a rare public address, Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei praises American technology and is reevaluating his own product lineup.

In the public letter, written sometime in June last year and reported by Reuters, Ren called out the Trump administration’s actions for creating “a great mismatch between [Huawei’s] strategy and [their] abilities.” The heavily restrictive policies have, in turn, forced Huawei to reevaluate their lineup, including cutting some products and some staff.

Since the letter was penned last year, Huawei’s cost-cutting might have already come to pass after selling Honor away. The company hasn’t eradicated much of its product lineup, though. Huawei is still planning to launch its tentpole series soon.

Despite criticizing Trump’s actions, Ren also praised the caliber of American technology as a “beacon of technology” and something to be emulated. The public praise makes the timing a bit conspicuous. There is a possibility that Huawei is trying to court the Biden administration into laxer policies going forward. Before the Trump administration ended, the ex-president landed a farewell blow, reportedly revoking some already accepted applications for operating licenses. With a new administration, Huawei is enjoying some renewed hope.

SEE ALSO: Huawei buys 90 patents from BlackBerry

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OnePlus and OPPO are merging research departments

A new era for R&D

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Everyone knows about the relationship between OPPO and OnePlus. Last year, renowned OnePlus CEO Pete Lau controversially switched sides over to OPPO, despite retaining some form of responsibility with his former company. Both companies have evolved side-by-side for a while. Today, they are taking a step further. Now confirmed by both companies, both companies have merged research departments.

Some rumors about the merge have emerged late last year. However, at the time, the rumors were just that — rumors. Now, it’s 100 percent confirmed.

In a statement sent to Android Authority, a OnePlus spokesperson has confirmed that both companies are integrating their research efforts into OPLUS, an overseeing holding company now led by Lau. Now, both companies are in a joint research partnership with one another.

However, the OnePlus statement also assures users that all involved parties will continue to operate independently despite the partnership. However, given that they are now working together, all companies under the BKK flag can now share new innovations and features with one another.

At the very least, the partnership cements a fact that was formerly known anyway: that OPPO and OnePlus share a strong relationship between themselves. At the moment, no one knows what the partnership will create, but it’s a good sight, at least.

SEE ALSO: OnePlus CEO Pete Lau will allegedly move to OPPO, rumor says

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