Apple has reportedly started laying off third-party contractors.

The New York Post reported, citing people with direct knowledge, that the iPhone maker has started to cut ties with hundreds of contractors quietly.

“Instead of waiting for contracts that are typically renewed every 12 to 15 months to expire, Apple is firing contractors outright,” said the report, citing sources.

Apple did not comment on the report.

According to the report, firing contractors is a move to cut costs.

The company hasn’t disclosed the size of its contractor workforce, but reports suggest it numbers in the thousands.

Apple CEO Tim Cook had called layoffs at the company a “last resort kind of thing”, adding that “You can never say never”.

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Cook had told the Wall Street Journal that Apple is managing costs very tightly.

“We want to manage costs in other ways to the degree that we can,” he was quoted as saying.

Apple faced supply chain disruptions in October and November as China faced a Covid surge and protests erupted at its key supplier Foxconn’s main factory in the country.

Cook said that Covid-related challenges “significantly impacted the supply of iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max and lasted through most of December”.

As a result of a challenging environment, “our revenue was down 5 percent year over year”, he added.

According to Wedbush tech analyst Dan Ives, Apple didn’t overhire during the pandemic.

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Apple’s employee count went up by about 7 percent in 2022 compared to 2021.

Cook has already taken a huge pay cut of $35 million, or more than 40 percent of his compensation.