After Recent Suicides, Foxconn Stops Forcing Workers From Fraternizing

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Foxconn Factory

Foxconn is notorious for its tough working conditions and labor practices, but the company has started relaxing on some of its strict factory rules after two recent suicides occurred at its Zhengzhou factory last month.

Starting now, Foxconn has decided it will stop forcing workers from fraternizing with one another during work hours. Foxconn’s factories have used a “mute mode” policy with workers that prohibits any conversation that is not relevant to their jobs while in the workshop, but the iPhone-maker has decided it’s probably good for workers’ health to be able to talk to each other.

WSJ: Foxconn Now Recruiting In Preparation For The iPhone 5S

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Foxconn has begun taking on new workers as it prepares to begin production of Apple’s next iPhone, according to two seperate reports from Bloomberg and 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 Freezes Recruitment And iPhone 5 Gets The Blame [Report]

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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?

Do New Apple Engineers Really Have To Work On Fake Projects?

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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?

Almost certainly not.

HP Follows Apple’s Lead To Clean Up Factory Working Conditions

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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.

New Apple Store In Shenzhen, China Will Open Its Doors On Saturday, November 3

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Apple will have 7 retail stores in China come Saturday.

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.

iPhone 5 Production Rates Fall As Apple Increases Quality Control At Foxconn

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Some iPhone 5s are being delivered with chips like these.
Some iPhone 5s are being delivered with chips like these.

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.

Foxconn Acknowledges Worker Dispute, But Denies Strike Over iPhone 5

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The riot resulted in broken windows at the Foxconn factory.
The riot resulted in broken windows at the Foxconn factory.

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.

The Original Mac Factory Won’t Be Getting Museum Treatment

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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.