IPhone maker flags strong start as lockdowns spur demand
Apple supplier Foxconn said it expects first-quarter revenue to rise over 15% from a year earlier, boosted by strong iPhone sales and robust demand for electronics during lockdowns worldwide to curb the Covid-19 pandemic.
The world’s largest contract electronics manufacturer has previously forecast strong demand for the new iPhone 12, saying its business will be supported by “stronger than expected” sales for smartphones and for telecommuting devices amid a coronavirus-induced workfrom-home trend. Taiwan-based Foxconn said it expects consumer electronics revenue, which includes smartphones and smartwatches, to rise over 15% in the January-March quarter from a year earlier. It did not elaborate. Foxconn said it saw revenue for cloud products that include servers and revenue for computing products such as laptops to rise about 10% in the first quarter, respectively. Foxconn’s chairman said last month that he expects his company and its clients will face only “limited impact” from a chip shortage that has rattled the global automotive and semi-conductor industries.
Over the past year or so it has announced several deals on the production of electric vehicles with automakers including US electric-car maker Fisker, China’s Byton, Zhejiang Geely Holding
Group, and Stellantis’s Fiat Chrysler unit. Shares in Foxconn have risen over 20% so far this year. Tech-powerhouse Taiwan’s economy is booming due to the pandemic because of global demand for tablets, computers, and smartphones. Taiwan’s January export orders, a bellwether of global technology demand, surged 49.3% from a year earlier.
Taiwan’s government last month revised up its outlook for 2021, predicting the economy will grow at its fastest pace in seven years, seeing gross domestic product (GDP) expanding 4.64% on the jump in exports driven by tech demand. Separately, Britain’s competition regulator said it has opened an investigation into Apple after complaints that the iPhone maker’s terms and conditions for app
developers are unfair and anticompetition.
The probe will consider if Apple has a dominant position in the distribution of apps on its devices in the UK, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said.
Payment policies related to Apple’s App Store have for long drawn complaints from app developers as it requires them to use its payment system, which charges commissions of between 15% and 30%.
The company has also been at loggerheads with Epic
Games, the creator of popular game Fortnite, which last year tried to avoid the 30% fee by launching its own in-app payment system, leading to Apple banning Fortnite from its store.
The iPhone maker said yesterday it will work with the regulator.