Foxconn sales drop could foreshadow Apple earnings

We’re getting closer to when Apple will report its quarterly results for its sales from January through March. ¬†And we have at least one sign that may shed some light on what to expect on April 23: Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., the parent company of Apple’s most important manufacturing partner, Foxconn, turned in some not-so-great earnings on Wednesday.

Reuters reported that Hon Hai saw a 19 percent drop in its sales from the same quarter a year ago. It saw sales of about $27 billion for the first quarter of this year, compared to $33.2 billion the same quarter in 2012.

It is possible that its sales are down because one of its other customers cut its orders way back.¬†Apple is not Foxconn’s only customer; it manufactures hardware for many of the world’s most prominent device makers. But Apple is by far its biggest, thought to be responsible for up to 70 percent of Foxconn’s orders.

It also makes sense that Apple device orders from Foxconn could be down for the quarter: there was no big new Apple device launch between January and March and therefore no massive ramp up of new devices.

We’ll find out how much this was or wasn’t a reflection on Apple when it reports its fiscal Q2 results on April 23.