Foxconn's hiring of staff at its biggest iPhone factory in China is taking place early in preparation for the iPhone 14, after Apple requested for the assembly partner to onboard more workforce members two months ahead of usual.
On May 3, reports surfaced that Foxconn was starting its annual push for workers at its manufacturing plants in Zhengzhou, China, far ahead of the usual seasonal schedule. Though the effort was halted by a COVID-19 lockdown the next day, it appears that Foxconn has resumed recruitment, at Apple's request.
According to sources of UDN, Apple requested for Foxconn to start recruiting workers at the Zhengzhou factory two months ahead of schedule. The effort is to ensure there's sufficient manpower on hand to build the products, and to minimize the impact of local closures and supply chain disruptions from further lockdowns.
The sources believe that, under Apple's current concerns for production capacity, the company is aiming to stock up on the iPhone 14 at least two months earlier for 2022, with more than 30 million units expected to be produced.
As part of the hiring spree, Foxconn offers a bonus for job seekers of RMB 5,500 ($826). Further, a report claims that the uncertainty at other factories has led to many Apple orders being transferred to the main Zhengzhou facility.
While there is talk of Apple seeking to expand its operations in other countries to mitigate against the China lockdowns, it is a problem that will take time to answer. For the moment, at least, Apple will continue to rely on China-based production for its most popular product.