Apple has enlisted one of Foxconn's biggest rivals to help build iPhones after worker unrest led to production delays, report says
- Apple has enlisted one of Foxconn's biggest rivals, Luxshare, to help build iPhones, the FT reports.
- Foxconn is Apple's largest iPhone supplier, but has been hampered by worker protests at its biggest facility.
Apple has recruited one of Foxconn's biggest rivals to produce some of its premium iPhone models, after worker protests at Foxconn's biggest facility caused severe delays last year, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday.
According to the FT, which cites three sources, Apple is close to entering an agreement with Chinese manufacturer Luxshare Precision to produce a large batch of iPhones, having previously relied heavily on Taiwan-headquartered Foxconn for production.
Luxshare, which was founded in 2004 by former Foxconn worker Grace Wang, is a major competitor to both Foxconn and Pegatron, another major supplier of iPhones for Apple.
It became an Apple supplier in 2011, Reuters reported. Until recently, the manufacturer made only Airpods and connector cables for iPhones and Macbooks.
Since last November, however, Luxshare has produced small numbers of iPhone 14 Pro Max at its factory in Kunshan, China to make up for lost supply from Foxconn, the FT reported, citing two sources.
Insider contacted Apple, Foxconn, and Luxshare for comment on the FT's report, but did not receive a response.
Foxconn's productivity has been severely hampered in recent months by major protests and staff walkouts at its so-called "iPhone City" megafactory in Zhengzhou, China. The protests came in response to draconian COVID-19 measures which confined workers to their bedrooms, and reports of unpaid wages in November.
According to a Bloomberg report in late November, the protests risked a six million device shortage in iPhone Pro production.
Foxconn is Apple's biggest iPhone supplier, and has traditionally had the coveted responsibility of producing new iPhone Pro models. Apple, however, has invested heavily in Luxshare for new iPhone producton, the FT reported.
Apple has been considering expanding its supply chain outside of China in recent months thanks to the issues at "iPhone City." Foxconn, meanwhile, says its production has "basically returned to normal," after tempting workers with bonuses and convincing them to stay on, according to Reuters.
Luxshare said on Thursday that its cooperation with clients was normal after a media report said that Apple had asked suppliers to reduce production, per Reuters.
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