updated 07:15 pm EDT, Sat March 24, 2012
Foxconn may shift new iPhone to northern China
Foxconn's northern plant in Taiyuan, in China's northern Shanxi province, may become both a key hub of new iPhone production as well as a flashpoint for working condition issues. The China Times claimed that the factory was facing a "huge" shortage of about 20,000 workers as it got ready for the new model. Supposedly, it would make as many as 85 percent of orders, or about 57 million.
Its frequent job fairs to rally the new amount were tested by strikes in the past week. Reports stemming from WantChinaTimes had "hundreds" of Taiyuan workers on strike after Foxconn allegedly promised pay raises for everyone but only delivered on it for mid- and upper-tier workers, prompting the action.
Foxconn has raised pay multiple times, including in February, but debate has continued over whether or not it was effective. Although the raises reduce the need for overtime, managers have been accused of an all-or-nothing attitude towards overtime, where workers either have to work excessive overtime or none at all.
Regardless of viability, production in northern China would be very rare for any Apple product. To date, they have almost always been made in southern China, whether in Foxconn's main factories in Shenzhen or nearby facilities from Pegatron. The most likely explanation of any expansion, if true, would come from sheer volumes. Apple shipped 37 million iPhones in the fall, nearly twice as many as its previous best quarter, and is unlikely to drop significantly lower for the next iPhone's launch. [via MICGadget]