Apple has “lost its supply chain mojo,” claims a new report, suggesting that this year’s iPhone refresh has highlighted that Apple’s once-enviable supply chain brilliance is no longer quite so, well, brilliant.
While there have been component issues Apple has dealt with in the past, this year’s iPhone X manufacturing process has been particularly prone to problems, with the upshot being that supply of the in-demand device is unlikely to match with demand until well into 2018.
It’s no secret that Apple loves to keep products secret, but thanks to a new leak we can now see the crazy lengths the company goes to just to keep prototype iPhones under wraps.
Notorious Apple leaker Sonny Dickson has put out some new images of an ugly iPhone case allegedly used by Apple to keep the iPhone 6s secret. From the outside it doesn’t look like much, but there are a bunch of tiny details that help Apple keep features from leaking.
Unsurprisingly for a company with the kind of success Apple has experienced, it is quite adept at driving a hard bargain.
According to a new report, Apple has been trying to maintain its high gross margin at a time of slowing smartphone demand by asking its suppliers to work for less money. Major suppliers Largan Precision, Foxconn and Pegatron Technology have all been affected.
But there is one way in which conditions have gotten worse for Apple’s supply chain employees. Although Apple limits factory workers to a 60-hour-work week, more supply chain workers went over that amount in 2014 than in 2013. But don’t start pulling your knives out just yet.
In a documentary set to air tonight called Apple’s Broken Promises, BBC One went undercover at Pegatron, one of Apple’s main supply chain partners in China. The findings from inside Pegatron’s walls show that “Apple’s promises to protect workers were routinely broken,” according to the report.
Another alarming revelation was that Apple could be using tin dug by impoverished children in illegal Indonesian mines. Apple is denying the allegations, but BBC One is committed to unearthing a sensitive topic the iPhone maker has spent years trying to put to rest.
Another Apple supplier is facing accusations concerning violations of labor rights and lapses in workplace safety.
The supplier in question is Taiwanese company Catcher Technology, which produces the metal casings for iPads as well as parts for the iPhone, plus components for other tech companies. The allegations concern a factory in the Chinese city of Suqian.
Among the accusations raised in a Thursday report by environmental nonprofit Green America and workers’ rights group China Labor Watch are the fact that employees are made to work excessive overtime hours, and handle toxic chemicals without the proper protective clothing.