Field visit to Apple’s foundry: 30,000 new iPhones are mass produced in 5 days

“Wear a mask, take temperature” at the gate of The Apple foundry in Shanghai Changshuo, a blue-and-white sign stands out. All the people wandering around the factory gate were wearing masks, security guards, mo-masters, and job seekers… All resident employees or temporary workers consciously raise their wrists when entering or leaving.

Field visit to Apple's foundry: 30,000 new iPhones are mass produced in 5 days

As very few people come to register for the job, the railings used to limit the flow in front of the direct recruitment office have lost their function. As March 23 approaches 12 noon, only 15 people are ready to take part in the afternoon job. Waiting for the gap, 15 people kept their distance from each other, and the security guard picked up the sterilizing water to disinfect their suitcases and prepared them in advance for their health codes and inquiries about their journeys.

Masks, disinfection water, health codes, trip inquiries and other elements, all indicate this year’s special recruitment situation.

“A while ago, there was a wave of people. “A security guard said, “Thirty thousand people in five days! It was revealed that the factory now has more than 80,000 workers, close to saturation, the production line is basically not short of people.


Two iPhone foundrys ‘full of horsepower’

On March 19th Apple’s official website suddenly restricted the sale of iPhones to a maximum of two units per person, but the purchase limit was declared void for only three days, and on March 23, Apple lifted restrictions on the purchase of iPhones.

Field visit to Apple's foundry: 30,000 new iPhones are mass produced in 5 days

The global epidemic of the new crown, the Spring Apple industrial chain ushered in a capacity climb, the fall release of the new iPhone is also ready for trial production.

Public data show that more than 90% of Apple’s production capacity comes from mainland China. Among them, the iPhone’s contract production is mainly foxconn and Hesu (Changshuo’s parent company) two foundry. The performance of the iPhone’s global supply chain this year will still depend on the performance of factories such as Foxconn and Changsuk.

On March 15th, Newscast reported on the resumption of work at Foxconn’s Zhengzhou plant: more than 80 percent of its employees returned to work and began to supply international handset makers such as Apple. Foxconn’s plant is expected to peak production in July, when it will begin production of the iPhone 12, which will be released in the fall,media reported.

Field visit to Apple's foundry: 30,000 new iPhones are mass produced in 5 days

Apple, Apple’s second-largest factory after Foxconn’s Zhengzhou, doesn’t seem to be re-opening at a slower pace than Foxconn.


The factory brother is isolated in the factory area

On the morning of March 23, a reporter from the IT Times came to Changshuo Gate 5. Gate 5, is the main entrance for personnel to and from Changshuo, but also Changshuo free direct recruitment office. If you take a taxi to Changshu, the driver-savvy master is likely to leave you directly at gate 5.

Field visit to Apple's foundry: 30,000 new iPhones are mass produced in 5 days

From the labor intermediary to give the rebate, we can also see that Changshuo recruitment demand is decreasing. A month ago, a labor agent also told the IT Times reporter, 90 days on the job can get 10,200 yuan of high rebate, but now the rebate has been discounted, less than 6000 yuan, and there is a limit every day, the end of the recruitment.

During the epidemic prevention period, Changshuo implemented special preventive and control measures. According to reporters understand that all the staff living in the dormitory can not leave the factory, eating, shopping, entertainment and other activities are limited to the factory area;

Most of the factory siblings are isolated in the Changshu plant, so the commercial ecology of the nearby rocket village is most affected. Rocket Village is a village “activated” by apple factories, popular because of the patronage of the factory’s sister. Today, back street noodle restaurants, breakfast shops, small restaurants are still closed, those who have opened shop diners are few, nothing busy shop assistants are shaking the sound.

Field visit to Apple's foundry: 30,000 new iPhones are mass produced in 5 days

Field visit to Apple's foundry: 30,000 new iPhones are mass produced in 5 days

Field visit to Apple's foundry: 30,000 new iPhones are mass produced in 5 days生意惨淡

Once bustling night market, from the end of the closure has been nearly 2 months, when the market is still unclear; hotels, housing intermediary business is dismal, hotel occupancy rate is less than 20% of the past, housing vacancy rate rose, a drop between a liter, has long been not seen “golden three silver four” look; less than half the previous. A Mo’s master said that business was so small that he came home early every day.


iPhone 12 is expected to be mass produced in August

“Affected by the outbreak, coupled with this year’s Apple orders more than in previous years, production lines are basically working overtime, double plus inevitable.” Each line of production can now produce three or four thousand iPhones a day. Changshuo management staff Amei revealed that now does work overtime frequently, but the next week can be changed to rest a day. An equipment manufacturer in Changshuo factory staff also told reporters that Changshuo currently has dozens of production lines, and there are many lines, an iPhone from start to finish to go through several kinds of wire body.

According to Caijing, normally 60,000 workers can produce 2 million iPhones a month. Judging from the number of employees, Shanghai Changshuo is already operating at full capacity.

In addition to the production of the iPhone 11 series, Changsuk is also testing Apple’s new machines.

Field visit to Apple's foundry: 30,000 new iPhones are mass produced in 5 days

A Changshu research and development design department staff confirmed to the IT Times reporter, Changsu is currently piloting the production of two new iPhone models. The new machine he’s testing is the “cheap” iPhone, about the size of the iPhone 7, but the border is not rounded, or the “iPhone SE 2” version. “Now that the P2 stage has passed, it’s mass production to run two or three more stages. He said the entire process was indeed delayed by the outbreak and that the iPhone SE 2 was not expected to be mass produced until the summer.

Another plant resident said, “The main task this year is d52, to August production, is still the prototype stage.” He said the d52 had not been officially named, and, unsurprisingly, the iPhone 12.

Side note

After the year, I’ve earned more than 10,000 yuan.

“What we’re doing now is basically the iPhone 11. A number of Changshuo employees told the IT Times that the current production is still last year’s release of the iPhone 11 series, but the production capacity is very high, more and more overtime recently.

Li Yang, who had just completed a month at Changshu, chose to leave, having been a 90-year-old brother on the iPhone 11 camera assembly line. Overtime, leave is difficult, is two he mentioned many times the key words. Throughout his exchangewith with him, the IT Times reporter was able to clearly feel the dull nasal tone that a cold brought to Li Yang.

For a month, leave was not approved, Li Yang can only “stick” to double plus, a day did not rest. Shuangplus means that you have to work overtime for two days on weekends. He says he works 10.5 hours a day, sometimes working up to 12 hours of night work.

Li Yang said that he and he entered the factory with seven people, five of whom have left, the shortest one only worked for 5 days.

Li Yang has 10 years of experience in electronics factory, has worked at Foxconn, Tianmawei and other. “If I hadn’t been carrying more than four thousand mortgage scars a month, I would have left. He said.

Unlike Li Yang’s decision, leaving the quality inspection line a little reluctant, “relying on not to go to be kicked out, will be very humiliating.” For the quality inspection this tedious and boring work, his attitude is pain and happy.

Although more overtime, sometimes to double-plus, but the first-time entry of Ahao is not disgusted with this. In his view, overtime earn more, of which two or three types of work if more, the income will be higher. After deducting the cost of accommodation, meals, etc., a month and a half after the year Ahao earned more than 10,000 yuan. This is obviously a good income.

(In the text, Lin Dong, Xiao Jun, Li Yang, Ahao, Amei are pseudonyms.) )

Author/IT Times trainee reporter Li Yuyang