It's the busiest time of the year at the world's largest iPhone assembly facility in Zhengzhou according to the South China Morning Post (via 9to5Mac). That means that assembly lines at the factory are humming as the iPhone 12 is being manufactured all day and all night. While employees at the huge Foxconn plant face mandatory overtime and canceled vacation time, the financial rewards are the carrot at the end of the stick.
Foxconn is building iPhone 12 models 24 hours a day
Wang Guofeng, a 33-year-old Foxconn employee, said that overtime hours have been increasing since the beginning of the summer with workers allowed only four days off during an entire month. Wang has worked at the factory for over four years and says, "You can earn 5,000 yuan to 6,000 yuan (US$880) per month, and if you work at the factory for more than 90 days, there’s a handsome amount of special pay."
Another Foxconn employee with the last name Ma notes that, "We have been kept so busy for the past weeks because of the iPhone 12." Confirming something that we said in the first paragraph, Ma says that production of the iPhone 12 is running 24 hours a day.
With all of the bonuses that are being paid, workers can find themselves with some extra cash in their pockets just in time to do some holiday shopping. Any employee who started after September 18th, works for at least 55 days and stays for at least 90, will receive a 10,000 Yuan ($1,467 USD) bonus from Foxconn's iPhone assembly unit. Those who joined after September 26th will get an 8,500 Yuan ($1,247 USD) bonus. Referring a worker to the company can land an employee a 500 Yuan ($73.35 USD) bonus.
Workers have also been asked to cancel any holiday plans that were made around the upcoming around the Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day that takes place this week. Foxconn is asking workers to cancel their plans, according to an employee who wishes to remain anonymous, so that boxes of the new iPhone can be shipped in a timely manner. Most workers don't mind working during this holiday because, as the unnamed employee notes, "according to Chinese labor law the salary triples on the first three days [of the Mid-Autumn Festival]."
The factory, like many in the country earlier this year, was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. But business is returning to normal. In June, shipments from the factory rose 50.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the calendar second quarter of this year, Apple delivered 45.1 million iPhone units worldwide for a 25% annual gain. That gain came despite a 14% decline in global smartphone shipments during the three months from April through June.
Apple is expected to unveil its new iPhone lineup on October 13th. We could see a 5.4-inch iPhone 12 mini, a 6.1-inch iPhone 12, a 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Pro and a 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max. All four models are expected to support sub-6GHz 5G with the iPhone 12 Pro Max rumored to add support for faster mmWave 5G.
According to a Twitter tipster, the first shipments of iPhone units leaving assemblers' factories will include the iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 beginning on October 6th. The Pro models will be shipped shortly afterward. The delays are taking place in response to the Covid-19 outbreak which impacted China earlier than most countries at the beginning of this year. Apple's Asian-based supply-chain had to shut down for a period of time as did contract assemblers such as Foxconn, Pegatron, and Wistron. By early March, Foxconn said that while its assembly lines were running at half capacity, it had recruited enough employees to run its lines at 100%. The month before, COVID-19 had led Foxconn to report its largest monthly drop in revenue over the last seven years.