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Today in Apple history: Apple probes Foxconn suicides

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Apple faces criticism for conditions on the iPhone production line in Foxconn factories.
Apple faces criticism for conditions on the iPhone production line.
Photo: SACOM Hong Kong/Flickr CC

May 25: Today in Apple history: Apple investigates Foxconn suicides May 25, 2010: Apple opens an investigation into a string of suicides at Foxconn, its Chinese manufacturing partner.

After reports of a ninth death at a Foxconn factory, Apple says it is “independently evaluating” Foxconn’s response. Cupertino vows to take a long, hard look at the facilities that manufacture its products. It’s a tough challenge for Apple to deal with — and Steve Jobs’ controversial comments don’t exactly help.

Apple wants to make more iPhones and MacBooks outside China

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A new wave of lockdowns in China could put Apple millions of units behind on iPhone production.
Apple wants to expand its product manufacturing outside China
Illustration: Cult of Mac

Apple is reportedly looking to expand the production of its devices outside China due to its strict anti-Covid policy.

The Chinese government’s uncompromising zero-covid policy has affected the manufacturing of Apple devices, with shipping times slipping to July for some products.

New China COVID-19 lockdowns could hit iPhone production hard

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A new wave of lockdowns in China could put Apple millions of units behind on iPhone production.
A new wave of lockdowns in China could put Apple millions of units behind on iPhone production.
Illustration: Cult of Mac

Analysts note that new COVID-19 lockdowns in China are hitting Apple’s supply chain hard. And the pain will likely worsen, with production falling behind by up to 10 million iPhones.

And this is not just about iPhones. Authorities have halted production at three key suppliers for iPhone, iPad and Mac assembly. Meanwhile, Apple is negotiating to reopen production lines, though success could be hard to come by, according to one analyst Friday.

This follows recent news of assembly and shipping delays on built-to-order MacBook Pro models.

Apple’s biggest iPhone maker closes major plant for another lockdown

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Apple's relationship with Foxconn on the rocks
Foxconn doesn't expect a "major" impact to production.
Photo: Apple

Foxconn, Apple’s largest manufacturing partner, was this weekend forced to close one its biggest plants due to a citywide lockdown. Another COVID-19 outbreak has put all of Shenzhen, China, out of action until March 20 at the earliest.

The city, home to 17.5 million people, houses the Longhua Science & Technology Park — sometimes dubbed “Foxconn City” — which features 15 factories, worker dormitories, grocery stores, restaurants, and more.

iPhone 14 enters trial production right on time

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Apple plans iPhone features 3 years ahead
Mass-production is likely to begin this summer.
Photo: ConceptsiPhone

iPhone 14 reportedly entered trial production this week ahead of its official debut this fall. The move indicates that Apple has finalized the lineup’s design and is now ready to identify problems that might arise during manufacturing.

Foxconn, Apple’s largest manufacturing partner, reportedly will build the flagship iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max. And Apple will task Luxshare, which makes some iPhone 13 Pro units, with manufacturing two more-affordable models.

Today in Apple history: iPhone factory deaths spark investigation

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Foxconn
Tim Cook visits one of Apple's factories in China.
Photo: Apple

December 11: Today in Apple history: Deaths at Pegatron iPhone factory spark investigation December 11, 2013: A Chinese labor rights group calls on Apple to investigate the deaths of several workers at a Shanghai factory run by iPhone manufacturer Pegatron.

Most controversially, one of the dead workers is just 15 years old. The underage worker reportedly succumbed to pneumonia after working extremely long hours on the iPhone 5c production line.

Apple suppliers fight for staff ahead of ‘iPhone 13’ production

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Apple's relationship with Foxconn on the rocks
Fewer people are interesting in building Apple products.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s manufacturing partners are reportedly competing for staff as they ramp up for “iPhone 13” production in the coming months.

Foxconn, Luxshare, and Lens Technology are said to be among the assemblers offering incentives — including larger bonuses — to attract new staff. Competition has increased following a decline in interest in the work.

Watt’s next for Apple car: Batteries built on home soil?

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Apple car batteries could be made in U.S.
Foxconn and Aleees could get the go-ahead from Apple.
Photo: Jaguar

Apple apparently wants to build car batteries on its home soil. The company is eyeing a number of manufacturers as it plans to set up factories in the United States, according to a new report.

Foxconn, already one of Apple’s largest manufacturing partners, or Advanced Lithium Electrochemistry (Aleees) could get battery orders from Cupertino in the future, sources say.

COVID-19 forces temporary closures for Apple factories in Vietnam

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Don’t let your opinion of Vietnam be stuck decades in the past.
Apple produces a growing number of products in Vietnam.
Photo: Cult of Mac/Marcus Nguyen/Pexels CC

The coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc on Apple’s supply chain (as well as everywhere else), with two Apple suppliers ordered to temporarily shutter factories in Vietnam as a result of a surge of COVID cases in the region.

The companies in question, Foxconn and Luxshare Precision, operate plants in Vietnam’s northern region. The area has seen a big rise in cases, including two over the weekend at Luxshare’s plant in Van Trung Industrial Park.