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 is relying on factories in China more than ever

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Analyst claims iPhone shipments collapsed 35% in China last month
China continues to be the epicenter of Apple's manufacturing.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple may be trying to wean itself off manufacturing in China, but despite its use of factories in Brazil and India, it’s actually relying on China more than ever.

According to Reuters, the majority of Apple suppliers have become increasingly concentrated in China. Although Apple uses small factories outside the country, these are typically used only for small domestic runs.

Apple wants to cut down on manufacturing in China

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Larry Kudlow
Tim Cook meets one of the people working on the iPhone factory line.
Photo: Apple

Apple has reportedly asked its main suppliers to evaluate the cost of shifting 15% to 30% of their production from China to Southeast Asia.

This is a response to the burgeoning China and U.S. trade war, which has already impacted Apple’s share price. If new tariffs go into effect, it could drive up the cost of Apple devices considerably.

iPhone chip manufacturing on its way to Indonesia

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iPhone 6s teardown
Pegatron will team up with an Indonesian manufacturer..
Photo: iFixit

Apple manufacturing partner Pegatron plans to invest up to $1 billion in a new iPhone chip plant in Indonesia.

The Taiwanese company outlined its plans in a letter of intent to the Indonesian government, according to a new report. Pegatron plans to work alongside local company PT San Nusapersada.

Pegatron moving iPad and MacBook manufacturing out of China

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The screen really is beautiful.
New iPads could be made in Indonesia.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Apple manufacturer Pegatron is reportedly set to start assembling MacBooks and iPads in Indonesia, starting next month.

The news comes at a time when more and more people are concerned about a burgeoning trade war between the U.S. and China. Because a large number of Apple’s products are manufactured in China, the possibility of new import tariffs could have a detrimental impact on the company.

Apple could give iPhone 8 an SE-style overhaul

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iphone 8
Would you be onboard for a new iPhone 8?
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Plans for an iPhone SE 2 may have gone the way of the dodo, but Apple may not have abandoned its iPhone SE philosophy of squeezing new components into an old iPhone form factor.

According to a new report, Apple plans to release a new version of the iPhone 8 with new, up-to-date internals. While users probably won’t get Face ID, they may get an A13 processor, redesigned printing circuit board, and more.

India’s decision to defer manufacturing tariffs could help Apple

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iPhone-India
Designed in California. Made in India.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

More and more Apple suppliers are considering building devices in India, and a new concession might make that possibility even more plausible.

According to a new report, India has deferred a plan which would have introduced tax on touch panel imports. These tariffs were supposed to be introduced in February, but have supposedly been delayed until at least April 2020. This follows lobbying from smartphone makers.

Another iPhone supplier considering India manufacturing

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iPhone-India
Another iPhone manufacturer is looking at moving beyond China.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

According to the Financial Times, Apple manufacturer Pegatron is planning to build new production lines in India, Vietnam and India. Pegatron accounts for around 30 percent of Apple’s assembly orders.

It follows on from news suggesting that fellow Apple supplier Foxconn is also considering production in India and Vietnam.

Foxconn cuts 50,000 workers early as iPhone struggles

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Which new iPhone is for you? It really comes down to size.
Apple knows the iPhone is getting too expensive.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Foxconn, Apple’s largest manufacturing partner, has cut 50,000 workers ahead of schedule as a result of weak iPhone demand.

The first cuts came last October, months before Foxconn typically scales back its workforce in preparation for slow season, according to a source familiar with the move. It is believed that Foxconn isn’t the only Apple supplier making cuts, either.