To boost the recruitment, Foxconn has reportedly increased its bonus to workers who remain in post for at least 90 days from $984 to $1,286, which will surely incentivize plenty of locals to join the 200,000 workers currently employed at the plant. Apple’s production fears stem from two key issues: the ongoing global chip shortage and the Chinese government’s attempts to fully eradicate Covid-19 from the country. The iPhone 13 was blighted by supply problems, which saw some customers waiting for longer than usual to get Apple’s latest smartphone; Apple is almost certainly looking to avoid this situation from occurring again.
According to reports, Apple is attempting to avoid iPhone 14 shortages later this year by asking major device manufacturer Foxconn to hire iPhone assembly line workers in China earlier than usual. Apple is also said to be in talks with regional governments to ensure that iPhone 14 production is secure in the event of another Covid-19 outbreak. Foxconn would not normally increase recruitment this early in the year, according to United Daily News (and relayed by 9to5Mac). However, Apple appears to want Foxconn to ensure that its production plant in Zhengzhou, China, dubbed iPhone City, is operating at full capacity in order to compensate for lost production in other parts of China. Overall, coronavirus lockdowns have left Zhengzhou relatively unscathed, so it makes sense.
To avoid the real possibility of a Covid-19 outbreak, a closed-loop production system is reportedly being used at the plant. This means that most workers actually live within accommodation located at the facility, and don’t leave the site for weeks at a time. Additional measures being employed include regular testing, as well as all visitors requiring a negative test result before being allowed to enter the plant.
During a recent earnings call, Apple’s Tim Cook noted that Covid-related disruptions and the industry-wide silicon shortage were just two of the problems the company is currently facing. Cook also explained that weak exchange rates, loss of Russian sales and reduced consumer spending thanks to a cost of living squeeze were other issues Apple must navigate. Apple estimates these factors could cost the California-based company in the range of $4 billion to $8 billion in its current quarter.
However, assuming Apple can mitigate the impact of these factors and ensure a mostly smooth production timeline, the iPhone 14 will undoubtedly be another successful smartphone in the overwhelmingly popular iPhone range. This year’s flagship could offer some of the biggest changes in years with a sleeker design, a faster A16 Bionic chip, a sharper main camera and potentially even USB-C for the iPhone 14 Pro and a new iPhone 14 Max model is also rumored. Plus, recent mock-ups may have given us a clear look at the potential design changes for each iPhone 14 model.
Rory is a Deals Editor at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics but with a particular focus on deals, gaming and streaming. When he’s not scouring retailers for PS5 restock or writing hot takes on the latest gaming hardware and streaming shows, he can be found attending music festivals and being thoroughly disappointed by his terrible football team.
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