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Apple manufacturer Foxconn cuts 50,000 jobs amid slow iPhone sales: Report

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  • Top iPhone manufacturer Foxconn has let go 50,000 seasonal workers since October at its factory in China, according to a new report.
  • Although these are temporary employees Foxconn hires under contract each year, these job cuts were made much earlier than usual, sources told the Nikkei Asian Review.
  • These cutbacks follow news Apple would reduce its iPhone production by about 10% in response to slowing sales.
  • Apple‘s production slowdown has not only affected Foxconn, but has also led to employee cuts at other companies in the iPhone supply chain.

Tens of thousands of seasonal workers in the iPhone supply chain are reportedly being let go ahead of schedule amidst Apple’s production cuts due to a slowdown in sales.

Since the start of the holiday quarter beginning in October, around 50,000 temporary employees have been cut at the Chinese factory for Foxconn, Apple’s largest iPhone manufacturer, the Nikkei Asian Review reports. A massive amount of workers are employed temporarily for the holiday season to help scale up production, but sources told Nikkei it’s unusual in that these jobs cuts were made significantly earlier than in previous years.

Apple reportedly told suppliers earlier this year to cut back iPhone production by an estimated 10%, and companies involved in the iPhone supply chain appear to be responding in kind. Nikkei reports that Apple’s second biggest manufacturer, Pegatron, also reduced its number of temporary workers by tens of thousands. Sources told Nikkei that other companies have given employees “extended vacations” to avoid laying them off.

Even Apple is reportedly cutting back on its hiring for “certain division” due to lower iPhone demand.

Reports show that Apple has asked supplier to cut production of iPhones at least twice in the last few months. In addition to January’s report of cutbacks, The Wall Street Journal reported in November that Apple had scaled back production of its three newest iPhone models: the iPhone XR, XS, and XS Max.

 Read more: Apple is reportedly cutting iPhone production by 10% after one of the darkest weeks in its history

Apple shocked the market earlier this month when it announced its revenue from iPhone sales for its first fiscal quarter of 2019 — which includes 2018’s holiday season — would be “significantly lower than it expected.” The company’s latest estimates for revenue were revised down to around $84 billion, which was 7.6% lower than investors previously expected. Financial analyst Daniel Ives called it “Apple’s darkest day in the iPhone era.”

Apple cited numerous reasons for the revenue decrease, including the company’s popular $29 battery replacement program

Additionally, Apple attributed issues to “supply constraints” and “economic weakness in emerging markets, especially China.” In November, when news first emerged iPhone demand was slowing, Foxconn said it was slashing almost $3 billion in expenses ahead of a “very difficult and competitive year.”

A contentious trade war between US and China has also loomed over iPhone production for Foxconn, which has 12 factories in China. Reuters reported in December that Foxconn would be shifting more of its iPhone production to its factories in India, where Foxconn is investing $356 million in an expanded manufacturing plant.

 

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More groups join in support of women in STEM program at Carleton

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OTTAWA — Major companies and government partners are lending their support to Carleton University’s newly established Women in Engineering and Information Technology Program.

The list of supporters includes Mississauga-based construction company EllisDon.

The latest to announce their support for the program also include BlackBerry QNX, CIRA (Canadian Internet Registration Authority), Ericsson, Nokia, Solace, Trend Micro, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, CGI, Gastops, Leonardo DRS, Lockheed Martin Canada, Amdocs and Ross.

The program is officially set to launch this September.

It is being led by Carleton’s Faculty of Engineering and Design with the goal of establishing meaningful partnerships in support of women in STEM.  

The program will host events for women students to build relationships with industry and government partners, create mentorship opportunities, as well as establish a special fund to support allies at Carleton in meeting equity, diversity and inclusion goals.

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VR tech to revolutionize commercial driver training

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Serious Labs seems to have found a way from tragedy to triumph? The Edmonton-based firm designs and manufactures virtual reality simulators to standardize training programs for operators of heavy equipment such as aerial lifts, cranes, forklifts, and commercial trucks. These simulators enable operators to acquire and practice operational skills for the job safety and efficiency in a risk-free virtual environment so they can work more safely and efficiently.

The 2018 Humboldt bus catastrophe sent shock waves across the industry. The tragedy highlighted the need for standardized commercial driver training and testing. It also contributed to the acceleration of the federal government implementing a Mandatory Entry-Level Training (MELT) program for Class 1 & 2 drivers currently being adopted across Canada. MELT is a much more rigorous standard that promotes safety and in-depth practice for new drivers.

Enter Serious Labs. By proposing to harness the power of virtual reality (VR), Serious Labs has earned considerable funding to develop a VR commercial truck driving simulator.

The Government of Alberta has awarded $1 million, and Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) is contributing an additional $2 million for the simulator development. Commercial deployment is estimated to begin in 2024, with the simulator to be made available across Canada and the United States, and with the Alberta Motor Transport Association (AMTA) helping to provide simulator tests to certify that driver trainees have attained the appropriate standard. West Tech Report recently took the opportunity to chat with Serious Labs CEO, Jim Colvin, about the environmental and labour benefits of VR Driver Training, as well as the unique way that Colvin went from angel investor to CEO of the company.

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Next-Gen Tech Company Pops on New Cover Detection Test

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While the world comes out of the initial stages of the pandemic, COVID-19 will be continue to be a threat for some time to come. Companies, such as Zen Graphene, are working on ways to detect the virus and its variants and are on the forefronts of technology.

Nanotechnology firm ZEN Graphene Solutions Ltd. (TSX-Venture:ZEN) (OTCPK:ZENYF), is working to develop technology to help detect the COVID-19 virus and its variants. The firm signed an exclusive agreement with McMaster University to be the global commercializing partner for a newly developed aptamer-based, SARS-CoV-2 rapid detection technology.

This patent-pending technology uses clinical samples from patients and was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. The test is considered extremely accurate, scalable, saliva-based, affordable, and provides results in under 10 minutes.

Shares were trading up over 5% to $3.07 in early afternoon trade.

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