Foxconn had previously increased bonuses to lure workers during what is considered the off-season to prepare for the production of the iPhone 14 and prevent disruption to iPhone 13 production. The company has now suspended the hiring of assembly line workers until further notice. Production has not been impacted, thanks to the Zhengzhou facility’s “closed-loop” system that confines workers within factories and dormitories.
Yesterday, it was reported that Apple had instructed the largest iPhone assembler, Foxconn, to ramp up hiring for the iPhone 14 series ahead of schedule in order to reduce the likelihood of a delay in the launch of the 2022 iPhones, but recruitment has now been halted. According to the South China Morning Post, Foxconn halted hiring at a large Zhengzhou facility after the Chinese government declared a seven-day lockdown in response to new Covid outbreaks.
Foxconn’s Zhengzhou facilities account for 80 percent of the world’s iPhones and if the lockdown is extended, iPhone 14’s production schedule could be impacted. Apple has already warned that Covid-19 shutdowns in China could affect its supply chain. The pandemic forced Apple to delay the launch of the iPhone 12 by more than a month but the company was able to go back to a September schedule last year. Given the Covid situation is not as bad as it was in 2020, we are unlikely to see a delay of this length this year, but if the past two years have taught us anything, it is that you never know what’s going to happen next.
Apple’s next iPhones are likely to keep the same general design as the iPhone 13 series but the Pro models could sport pill and hole cutouts, a higher resolution main camera, and a new chip, and this could make them the best phones of 2022.