Apple reportedly plans 30% increase in iPhone production for first half of 2021, amid concerns of labor rights violations at plants

Apple reportedly plans 30% increase in iPhone production for first half of 2021, amid concerns of labor rights violations at plants
Apple CEO Tim Cook.Karl Mondon/Digital First Media/The Mercury News via Getty Images
  • Nikkei Asia reported Apple plans to increase iPhone production by 30% in the first half of 2021 due to high demand.
  • Apple launched iPhone 12 models, which support 5G connectivity, in October.
  • Workers at Asian factories that make iPhones have recently accused Apple of unfair labor practices, like withholding wages and employing student workers, which led the company to suspend work with its manufacturer Pegatron.

Apple is reportedly gearing up to produce 96 million iPhones by June 2021.

Nikkei Asia reported the smartphone company plans to increase iPhone production by 30% in the first half of 2021 due to high demand. Sources told the publication Apple plans to build up to 230 million iPhones next year, including both old and new models.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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Apple launched the iPhone 12 lineup in October. The new generation of iPhones support faster 5G connectivity, the next-generation wireless standard. The iPhone 12 Pro also includes a professional-level camera. The phones retail from $699 for the iPhone 12 Mini to $1,099 for the iPhone 12 Pro Max.

The Wall Street Journal reported in April the companies delayed production for the iPhone 12 by a month due to manufacturing disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Apple added $88 billion in market value on Tuesday after Nikkei Asia reported the increased production.
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Read more: Google CEO Sundar Pichai apologized to employees for how the company handled the exit of AI ethicist Timnit Gebru: 'I accept the responsibility of working to restore your trust'

Workers at factories that make iPhone parts and their advocates recently accused Apple of unfair labor practices. An iPhone factory in India held a 2,000-person protest after accusing management of withholding wages. News reports from the scene said some people smashed factory windows during the demonstration. Former Apple engineers told The Information the company knew suppliers had violated Chinese labor laws as early as 2014 and failed to intervene.
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Apple joined other major corporations to lobby Congress to weaken a bill that would bar firms from relying on the forced labor of Uighurs and other Muslim minorities in China, per The New York Times. The Australian Strategic Policy Institute reported at least 2,700 Uighur people had been transferred to Apple's supply chain since 2017.

A September 2019 report by China Labor Watch found Apple and Foxconn broke Chinese labor laws by employing too many temporary workers at the largest iPhone factory in Zhengzhou, China. Apple confirmed at the time that hey broke Chinese labor law to several news outlets.

The tech giant suspended business with Pegatron, the second-largest iPhone manufacturer, in November due to student labor violations in China.
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