FORTUNE -- If something sounded familiar about Lorraine Luk's headline in Tuesday's Wall Street Journal -- As Apple Feels Bite, Hon Hai Looks to Diversify -- it may be because we've heard that tune a lot lately.
Just in the past three weeks, journalists have attributed to Apple's (AAPL) loss of "steam" everything from Harvard's divestiture of a few hundred Apple shares to the structure of Sharp's survival plan. (See The business wires' new verbal tic.)
To be sure, one can legitimately write that Apple has had an unusually long stretch without a product launch. Or that its profit margins have pulled back quite a bit from their historic highs. Or that its earnings fell year over year last quarter for the first time since 2003, and are likely to do it again this quarter.
But Apple's all-important iOS shipments, as the chart above shows, are still growing nicely.
So to interpret this quote from an unnamed Hon Hai executive ...
"As our production capacity has grown to such a large scale and existing major-brand customers offer limited order growth, we need to actively expand our client base to help increase our manufacturing volume."
... as referring specifically to Apple -- as Luk did in Monday's Journal -- is to ignore the fact that Hon Hai, better known as Foxconn, has other major-brand clients, and that most of them are hurting.
How about Amazon's (AMZN) Kindle readers? Foxconn builds those things too:
I suspect most of Foxconn's other clients would happy to switch places with a company whose sales can produce a growth chart like the one at the top of this page.
So if Foxconn is feeling "pain" -- as Luk writes in her lead paragraph -- perhaps a little more reporting would turn up better reasons than the "competition ... biting into Apple's market share."
A suicide story that broke on Saturday had fallen apart by Monday.
FORTUNE -- The Agence France Press headline that moved over the business wires Saturday morning seemed like deja vu all over again:
Three new factory suicides at Apple supplier Foxconn
Citing only a statement issued by China Labor Watch in New York, the news agency reported that the deaths occurred at a Foxconn factory in the central city of Zhengzhou and MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - May 20, 2013 12:37 PM ET
Once again, the paper twists itself into a pretzel to find the Apple-is-doomed angle.
FORTUNE -- Readers who remember the New York Times' 2012 investigation of conditions in the Chinese factories that build iPads and iPhones for Apple (AAPL) -- the article that described Apple as "reprehensible" and "morally repugnant" -- may be surprised if they open Tuesday's business section and read this lead paragraph:
"Terry Gou did almost everything that Apple could ask MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - May 7, 2013 7:45 AM ET
A Reuters headline has some Apple watchers scratching their heads.
FORTUNE -- A Taipei-datelined Reuters story getting widely picked up Wednesday uses "disappointing" twice in six paragraphs to describe sales of Apple's (AAPL) iPhone.
"Disappointing demand" for the iPhone between January and March is blamed for the 19% drop in the first-quarter revenue of Hon Hai, which assembles iPhones in its Foxconn factories.
"Disappointing holiday sales" in the previous quarter are said to have "reinforced MORE
A liberal think tank has a novel idea: Give some of that cash to Apple's workers
FORTUNE -- The first paragraph of the commentary posted Wednesday on the website of the Economic Policy Institute, a liberal think tank founded by, among others, Clinton-era labor secretary Robert Reich, lays out the thrust of the argument pretty succinctly:
"For more than a year, there has been a high-profile debate over what Apple should do MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Mar 20, 2013 12:20 PM ET
But not because of slowing iPhone 5 sales, as had been reported
FORTUNE -- Apple's (AAPL) battered shares took another hit Wednesday -- down $8.84, nearly 2%, for the day -- after the Financial Times attributed a hiring freeze at the Foxconn factories that assemble many of Apple's products to a slowdown in iPhone 5 production.
The stock didn't recover, even after a Foxconn spokesman flatly denied that the freeze had anything MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Feb 21, 2013 6:42 AM ET
Take that CNET! Gotcha Gizmodo!
FORTUNE -- A little cultural relativism goes a long way when struggling with first-world problems -- like the flaws in Apple's (AAPL) new Maps app -- as Saturday Night Live comes to the iPhone 5's defense. Video now available on YouTube. Get it while you can.Philip Elmer-DeWitt - Oct 15, 2012 7:03 AM ET
The contract manufacturer has become a symbol for worker abuse, but the Apple partner isn't the only bad actor in China.
By Bill Powell, editor-at-large
FORTUNE -- Hon Hai Precision, a.k.a. Foxconn, has become synonymous with emblematic 21st-century workplace misery. In late September, worker brawls triggered riots at a Foxconn assembly plant in central China. From January to June in 2010, 14 workers at Foxconn's massive operation in Shenzhe -- a MOREFortune Editors - Oct 11, 2012 5:00 AM ET
How Amazon could tackle smartphones with one of its own; what it's like to live at a 'hacker hostel'
Amazon's said to plan smartphone to vie with Apple [BLOOMBERG]
Foxconn International Holdings Ltd., the Chinese mobile-phone maker, is working with Amazon on the device, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans are private. Amazon is seeking to complement the smartphone strategy by acquiring patents that MOREJP Mangalindan, Writer - Jul 6, 2012 9:45 AM ET
Why your next phone could be made in the U.S.A.; how hacker group Anonymous launches attacks.
Made in America: could your next phone be homegrown? [ENGADGET]
For the past score or so, the issue of manufacturing in America has been a prevalent one. Millions upon millions of manufacturing jobs in America have been lost in the realms of textiles and furniture. But recently, the political scope that typically dodges the world of consumer electronics MOREJP Mangalindan, Writer - Jul 3, 2012 12:31 PM ET
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