(JW Insights) Sep 13 -- The world’s largest iPhone factory Foxconn Zhengzhou, central China’s Henan Province, is continuing to expand its workforce ahead of the release of the iPhone 15, amid geopolitical tensions and fresh competition from Huawei, reported SCMP on September 12.
Foxconn Technology Group’s plant in Zhengzhou is offering peak season signing bonuses of RMB6,480 ($880) per person at the company’s Product Enclosure Business Group, which is responsible for producing mechanical parts for the iPhone, according to a job posting on September 11.
The new workers are expected to help the factory meet demand for Apple’s new products, including its highly-anticipated iPhone 15, which will be unveiled during a launch event on morning of September 12 in California.
“The iPhone 15 from Apple is expected to keep sales strong throughout the year and maintain its dominance in the above $600 price range in China,” said Counterpoint Research senior analyst Ivan Lam in an email to the Post.
The continued hiring spree in Zhengzhou, however, underlines the case that China remains a key manufacturing base for Apple, even as the company and its suppliers diversify iPhone production to places like Vietnam and India.
However, while Apple’s past high-end models such as the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max have been top performers in the country, the iPhone 15 is coming to market amid a new set of challenges in one of the world’s largest phone markets.
“[The] release of competitive flagship models from Chinese manufacturers, such as the Huawei Mate 60 series and its potential foldable models, may pose a challenge to the iPhone’s market share,” said Lam.
Apple will use its online store on JD.com to give paid subscribers pre-purchase access to its newest products during its launch, according to a post published on JD.com’s official Weibo account.
Even though iPhone 15 Pro models are expected to come equipped with Apple’s first iPhone chip based on Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s first-generation 3-nm process, the handset will have to overcome a patriotic wave in China spurred by Huawei’s apparent success in overcoming US sanctions.
According to research firm Canalys, the new Huawei device could cut into the market share of other premium phone brands such as the iPhone, which accounted for over 75 per cent of phones sold over the $800 price point in China in the first half compared with Huawei’s 12 per cent, according to the SCMP report.