Foxconn workers line up to leave the world’s largest iPhone assembly plant as overtime opportunities plunge

“It is a normal Saturday in Zhengzhou, the capital of central China’s Henan province. The sky over the Foxconn factory complex is obscured with a choking smog,” Cissy Zhou reports for The South China Mornigng Post. “Under the hazy sunset, hordes of workers have started to walk out of the production facility. The crowd thins out quickly.”

“But working conditions inside the world’s largest iPhone assembly plant are not normal, as weaker demand for the mobile phones assembled inside the vast 1.4 million square metre (15 million square feet) facility has led to lower salaries and reduced benefits from Apple’s largest supplier,” Zhou reports. “The sharp drop in iPhone sales since the middle of last year, much of it due to weaker Chinese demand, has cast a shadow over the manufacturing giant.”

“Rumours surfaced that Foxconn had axed 50,000 seasonal workers after October, but most workers resigned due to a lack of overtime opportunities, resulting in queues forming every day to complete their exit paperwork,” Zhou reports. “The turnover rate at the Foxconn plant has always been high, but a dozen workers told the Post that it has been even higher since the end of last year.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As the iPhone replacement cycle lengthens, some level of adjustments across the board are only natural.

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  1. Probably a good thing their fellow Chinese citizens suffer when they choose a home grown brand like Huawei and end up reducing sales of the iPhone. China has skin in the iPhone game too and lots to lose if Apple sales diminish there.

  2. iPhones are getting expensive and people will hold on to their older models a little longer because of it. An iPhone 6s Plus or 7 can make it another 12-18 months for ordinary people who just want to make calls, surf the web, and take some decent photos now and then. So….you get slowing sales of the newer models….

  3. if this isn’t a sign for Apple to TRY TO sell 20 to 30 MILLION <> MACs per year, I don’t know what more clearer sign could be.

    if that sounds like a big number, it isn’t. Apple sells about 5 million Macs per quarter, Lenovo sells about 16 million per Q. Why can’t Apple be the #1 PC seller in the world? Not only that, why can’t 2/3rds of the Apple Macs be made in Texas?

    Imagine revenue at Apple being 1/3 iPhone, 1/3 Mac plus iPad, and 1/3 services.

    1. I’ve said this for years. Why hasn’t it always been an objective to pay attention to Macs, keep them updated and attractive to ALL their various markets and sell a lot more of them? (Incompetence and a lazy myopic vision perhaps from Apple leadership?). Macs should have never been an afterthought. They’ve done poorly by users and stockholders alike. Get with it Apple and remember the computer that started it all. It’s been nothing less than corporate betrayal. And especially now as Windows 7 support ends and those users are faced with upgrading to Windows 10 or moving to Macs. Even Microsoft understands this.

      1. “Get with it Apple and remember the computer that started it all.”
        You’re right, they need to remember the Apple II!! THEY BETRAYED THE COMPUTER THAT MADE THE COMPANY WHAT IT IS TODAY!

    2. “why can’t 2/3rds of the Apple Macs be made in Texas?”
      You already know the answer to this question. Because macs don’t have “MADE BY SLAVE WORKERS SOMETHING SOMETHING CHINA” on them. All they’d have to do is put that text in big nasty letters on the box and BAM, 2/3rds of all the Macs made in the world will be made in Texas.

  4. The Chinese consumers’ loyalty to domestic brand smartphones is sort of biting them on their asses. They stop buying iPhones and now many Chinese workers are losing their jobs. Of course, those workers at Foxconn probably weren’t buying iPhones, anyway. I wonder if Apple had made their iPhones just a bit less expensive, would things have turned out this way. These economic problems are quite tricky to solve. It looks as though the big losers will be Apple shareholders as Apple’s smartphone market share percentage continues to decline.

    Apple has so much spare cash to stay ahead of the rest of the smartphone industry and yet it doesn’t seem to do any good and that really puzzles me. I guess it depends on what a company is focused on. Whatever Apple is focused on, no one seems to quite see what it might lead to. Big investors only seem to see a lack of growth potential at Apple.

    1. “Growth Potential” — At some point it is going to become obvious that Apple needs to offer a less expensive phone with fewer features and smaller screen.

      Not everyone is obsessed by “big and new and complex.”

  5. So the self righteous idiots who were bitching about Apple forcing employees to work overtime got their wish. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to be what the actual employees want.

  6. Unless a customer has a specific for staying at the leading edge of technology (power) there is no real need to upgrade every year. I actually used to upgrade memory to 364 Gigs to give me another year or two. The last iPhone (an XR) I got was bumped to 128 Gigs in order for it to last longer. Actually, at 74, it might be my last phone – and one of the grandkids can get it if I don’t live long enough to buy another one.

    I’m the type of customer that is a challenge for Apple. I’m brand loyal but I’m conservative in making new purchases. I do hope that Apple pushes technology forward as the market in total benefits when they do.

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