Foxconn has begun taking on new workers as it prepares to begin production of Apple’s next iPhone, according to two seperate reports from Bloombergand The Wall Street Journal.
The company has added to its numbers at an iPhone plant in Zhengzhou, eastern China, ending a freeze on recruitment that was implemented back in February. The new workers will reportedly assemble the upcoming “iPhone 5S,” as well as existing models that Apple has requested to boost capacity, a supply chain source said.
Foxconn has reportedly placed a recruitment freeze across most of its factories in China as the company slows production of the iPhone 5, the Financial Times reports. This is believed to be the first such freeze since 2009, and it’s seen as an emphasis of the “weakening demand” for some Apple products. But does the freeze really have anything to do with Apple’s devices?
There’s a belief that Apple makes new engineers work on fake products until they can be trusted. According one of the company’s former employees, Adam Lashinsky, who published the book Inside Apple last January, the Cupertino company hires people into so-called “dummy positions” until it’s confident that they can be a part of upcoming products without leaking information.
But how accurate are those claims? We know Apple takes secrecy very seriously, but would it really waste time and money on giving people fake projects just to ensure they won’t squeal?
After facing a lot of scrutiny for the past few years over working conditions at factories in China, Apple has made a lot of progress on cleaning up their manufacturing partners’ facilities. Pay has been increased. Forced overtime and child labor aren’t as frequent. And we haven’t heard of any massive brawls in a while.
Following Apple’s lead, HP has decided to get its act together in China as well by reducing the number of underage student laborers at its facilities in China.
Apple gadgets you buy in the future may have been assembled by machines as Apple’s biggest manufacturing partner, Foxconn, begins replacing its workers with robots. The move is expected to improve efficiency in Foxconn’s Chinese plants, as well as combat rising labor costs.
If you own a Mac or an iOS device, there’s a good chance it was assembled by the fine folks at the Foxconn factory in Shenzhen, China. Despite being born there, however, Apple’s latest gadgets aren’t exactly easy to get hold of in the city. But that’s set to change on Saturday, November 3, when the Cupertino company opens the doors to its first Shenzhen retail store.
The iPhone 5 has quickly become Apple’s fastest-selling iPhone of all-time, meaning it’s incredibly difficult to get hold of — even more than three weeks after its launch. And the situation is about to get a lot worse, according to Bloomberg.Apple has had to increase quality-control at Foxconn to prevent damaged devices with nicks and scratches from leaving the factory. As a result, iPhone 5 production rates have dropped.
Following reports of a riot between 4,000 employees earlier this month, Foxconn has acknowledged that two disputes between workers did take place at one of its Chinese plants. However, the company has denied claims of a strike over iPhone 5 production pressures, and says that production is on schedule.
After the death of Steve Jobs last year the city of Fremont wanted to celebrate Jobs’s work by registering his original Macintosh factory as a place of historical significance. Fremont’s city council quickly went to work on getting the Mac factory – which was a state-of-the-art automation facility at the time – registered, but found out that the building isn’t old enough to meet federal criteria for a historic designation.
According to federal criteria, a building must be at least 50 years old to be registered as a historic place of significance, and Apple’s Mac factory is only 30 years old. Fremont City Council spent $45,000 in the effort to get the factory listed before realizing they wouldn’t be able to do so.
A Foxconn factory in Taiyuan, China — where many of Apple’s devices are assembled before being shipped — has had to be closed after 2,000 workers became involved in a “mass disturbance” on Sunday evening.
The fight reportedly broke out after a personal quarrel involving workers from two different production lines, but messages posted to Chinese microblogging network Sina Weibo have claimed that the brawl was actually caused by factory guards beating Foxconn workers.