Apple: iPhone 14 production close to normal

Posted January 3, 2023, 5:35 pm

What if the year 2023 started with good news for Apple and iPhone enthusiasts? Taiwan’s Foxconn, the Apple brand’s main subcontractor, has returned to production capacity close to 90% of its maximum level at its Zhengzhou site in southern China, according to the agency. Bloomberg financial press conveyed on Tuesday. It was only 30% in late November and early December.

It is on this site, nicknamed “iPhone City”, that the vast majority of the new iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max are manufactured. Now, around 200,000 workers are hard at work assembling the smartphone for delivery by the Lunar New Year, which falls on January 22. At least that’s what we’re hoping for in Cupertino, California. The managers want to turn the page as quickly as possible in the months of November and December, which, far from the traditional euphoria of this time of year, have caused them many cold sweats. In fact, the photos have gone viral on social networks: Foxconn employees trying to escape from “iPhone City”, where they were forcibly locked down due to the resurgence of cases of Covid-19 contamination and Beijing’s intransigence towards its zero-Covid policy . Demonstrations, sometimes violent, then broke out between the workers and the riot police. Also at the core of the demands were the non-payment of bonuses, wages and working conditions that were considered unacceptable, especially food shortages in the place, which was then cut off from the world.

Diversify production sites

Since then, Foxconn, under pressure and above all, fearing to see too many of its workers flee, has watered down its wine and offered prizes and bonuses to attract employees. Today things seem to be back to normal. Beijing’s decision, as brutal as it was unexpected, to lift health restrictions in late December helped… but for how long? The reopening of China was accompanied by an epidemic smell, with the fear of seeing the workers stop, to revive new varieties and that, perhaps even more dangerous, to throw the authorities into the impossibility of quantifying the number of infectious diseases. Also, the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which is now in charge of the cost calculation, will only conduct the exercise once a month from next week. According to the British medical analysis company Airfinity, China will record 11,000 deaths per day related to Covid, for 1.8 million contaminations. At this rate, the death toll could reach 1.7 million by the end of April.

Apple is aware of the risk of the concentration of the assembly of the iPhone in China, and Apple has for several months committed to diversify its production sites by turning to India for the iPhone 14 and Vietnam for the iPad.

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