Foxconn and Compal Will Reportedly Assemble ‘Apple Watch Series 6’ Models Next Year

Foxconn and Compal Electronics have obtained orders to assemble 2020 models of the Apple Watch, which would be Series 6 models if Apple sticks to its naming scheme, according to industry sources cited by DigiTimes. The report adds that Luxshare Precision will likely take orders for older Apple Watch models.


A preview of the upcoming report:
Compal, Foxconn land orders for next-gen Apple Watch:
Compal Electronics and Foxconn Technology Group (Hon Hai Precision Industry) have obtained orders for the 2020 series of Apple Watch, while China-based Luxshare ICT will likely take orders for old-generation Apple Watch devices, according to industry sources.
This news follows another DigiTimes report that claimed Quanta Computer will likely stop assembling the Apple Watch in 2020 due to alleged "profit concerns." Quanta has been a primary Apple Watch manufacturer since 2015.

Apple Watch Series 6 rumors are still slim, but it has been reported that Apple has a team of biomedical engineers working on a method for non-invasively monitoring blood glucose levels using optical sensors, technology that could potentially make its way into the Apple Watch at some point in the future.

MacRumors also discovered references to sleep tracking on the Apple Watch being developed internally, with Bloomberg claiming the functionality could be released in 2020 if testing is successful. Apple accidentally mentioned an unreleased Sleep app for watchOS in an App Store screenshot earlier this month.

Rumors suggest 2020 could also be the year the Apple Watch gets a MicroLED display, and if true, Series 6 models could potentially have thinner, brighter, and more power efficient displays compared to current OLED models.

Apple just released Series 5 models in September, with key new features including an always-on display, a new Compass app, international emergency calling on cellular models, 32GB of internal storage, and new titanium and ceramic casing options. Series 6 models would likely arrive in September 2020.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 6
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Buy Now)

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Apple and Foxconn Admit to Hiring Too Many Temporary Workers in China to Assemble iPhones

Apple and manufacturing partner Foxconn have admitted to recruiting too many temporary staff in one of the world's biggest iPhone factories, following a report from a non-profit advocacy group alleging harsh working conditions (via Bloomberg).


China Labor Watch (CLW), which investigates conditions in the country's factories, published its report on Sunday accusing the two companies of breaching several Chinese labor laws, including one barring temporary staff from exceeding 10 percent of the total workforce.

CLW said undercover investigators worked in Foxconn's Zhengzhou plant in China and found that temporary staff, known as "dispatch workers," made up about 50 percent of the workforce in August, when the supply chain is usually ramped up ahead of new iPhone releases. Chinese labor law allows a maximum of 10 percent.
Our recent findings on working conditions at Zhengzhou Foxconn highlights several issues which are in violation of Apple’s own code of conduct. Apple has the responsibility and capacity to make fundamental improvements to the working conditions along its supply chain, however, Apple is now transferring costs from the trade war through their suppliers to workers and profiting from the exploitation of Chinese workers.
In a statement, Apple said it investigated the percentage of temporary workers among the overall workforce and found it "exceeded our standards," and said it was working with Foxconn to "immediately resolve the issue."

In addition, Apple said it had found that interns at a supplier facility worked overtime at night, something which violating company policy, but that it had corrected the issue. The company said the interns worked overtime voluntarily and were properly compensated.

Despite the admissions, Apple rebutted allegations of lapses in people management and declined to comment on whether the excess amounted to a breach of Chinese labor law.
"We believe everyone in our supply chain should be treated with dignity and respect," Apple said in a statement. "To make sure our high standards are being adhered to, we have robust management systems in place beginning with training on workplace rights, on-site worker interviews, anonymous grievance channels and ongoing audits."
Separately, Foxconn also admitted it had discovered an over-reliance on temporary workers dispatch workers and said it "immediately began a detailed process to ensure that all issues were addressed."

Around 12,000 iPhones are assembled per shift at the Zhengzhou factory, according to CLW's report. However, Apple's 2018 iPhone XS models were said to be more complex to build than 2017's iPhone X and therefore required more workers.

This isn't the first time Apple and Foxconn have come in for criticism over working conditions in Chinese iPhone factories. In 2017, the companies confirmed instances of high school students working overtime to assemble the iPhone X when they shouldn't have been allowed.

Both companies took remedial action over the issue, and Apple sent specialists to the manufacturing plant to work with management to ensure standards were properly followed.

In its latest annual supplier responsibility report, Apple said it conducted 44,000 interviews with supplier employees in 2018 to make sure they were properly trained and knew how to voice concerns. Apple also said it was taking new steps to prevent forced labor.

Apple will hold its annual iPhone-centric event on Tuesday, September 10 at the Steve Jobs Theater on the Apple Park campus, where it is widely expected to unveil three new iPhones alongside an Apple Watch refresh and other announcements.

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Tags: China, Foxconn

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2019 iPhones Won’t Have ‘iPhone’ on the Back According to So-Called Foxconn Worker

We're likely less than a month away from a trio of new iPhones, and ahead of time, an anonymous user claiming to be a Foxconn factory worker in China has shared alleged details about the upcoming devices on Chinese question-and-answer site Zhihu. The list was posted July 30 and surfaced on Slashleaks today.


While many of the details in the list have already been rumored, or at the very least sound plausible, this information is unverified and obviously could be faked. In other words, keep your expectations in check.

Starting with design, the alleged Foxconn worker claims at least one of the new iPhones will be available in an all-new new dark green color. This lines up with a previous report from Japanese blog Mac Otakara that claimed the next iPhone XR will be available in new green and lavender finishes.

The rear glass is said to have a matte appearance, in line with analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claiming all three 2019 iPhones will feature frosted glass casing.

Interestingly, the leak suggests that the "iPhone" branding will be removed from the back of the devices. This isn't something we've heard before, but it is certainly possible that Apple believes the iPhone is now distinguishable enough for the name to be removed in favor of a more minimalistic design.


As for the front, the design of the 2019 iPhones is said to be virtually the same as 2018 models, including the notch. However, due to the widely rumored removal of 3D Touch, the display is expected to be slightly thinner.

The supposed Foxconn employee claims the next iPhone XS Max will have a 3,969 mAh battery capacity — this is the first time we've seen that number. Other details in the list have been widely rumored, including triple-lens rear cameras, the Lightning connector living on, and 3D Touch being dropped.

Last, the new iPhones are said to be available in similar 64GB, 256GB, and 512GB storage capacities, like the current iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max. It is unclear if this includes the iPhone XR, which currently tops out at 256GB.

Again, this information has not been confirmed, so this falls into the "sketchy rumor" category. In just a matter of weeks, we'll find out for certain.

Related Roundup: 2019 iPhones
Tag: Foxconn

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Foxconn Ramps Up Seasonal Hiring Spree Ahead of 2019 iPhones

We're likely just six weeks away from Apple unveiling a trio of new iPhones, and on cue, the supply chain is preparing for the new devices.


As it has for the past several summers, Apple's primary manufacturer Foxconn is ramping up its seasonal hiring spree, according to the Economic Daily News. The report claims Foxconn is offering a one-time bonus of 4,500 Chinese yuan, or roughly $650, to employees who renew their contracts right now.

Foxconn needs as many hands on deck as possible at its factory in Shenzhen, China to assist with mass production of the upcoming iPhones, as Apple's first-week sales will likely be in the millions of units as usual.


Apple is widely expected to debut three new iPhones in September with the same 5.8-inch, 6.1-inch, and 6.5-inch sizes as the 2018 lineup.

Related Roundup: 2019 iPhones
Tag: Foxconn

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Apple Reportedly Considering Moving Up to 30% of Production Out of China to Diversify Supply Chain

With the U.S.-China trade war seemingly showing no signs of slowing down, a new report claims that Apple is getting serious about diversifying its supply chain in an effort to reduce its reliance on Chinese manufacturing.

iPhone disassembly robot Daisy

Specifically, Apple has asked several of its major suppliers to evaluate the cost implications of shifting 15 to 30 percent of their production capacity from China to Southeast Asia countries as it prepares for a "fundamental restructuring of its supply chain," according to the Nikkei Asian Review.
Key iPhone assemblers Foxconn, Pegatron, Wistron, major MacBook maker Quanta Computer, iPad maker, Compal Electronics, and AirPods makers Inventec, Luxshare-ICT and Goertek all have been asked to evaluate options outside of China, multiple sources say. Many other Apple suppliers such as print circuit board and casing providers are closely monitoring where these major assemblers would shift their production.
The countries being considered for diversification include Mexico, India, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Malaysia, with India and Vietnam among the favorites for iPhone assembly, according to the report. Apple supplier Wistron already assembles a limited quantity of iPhones in India.

As part of the efforts, Apple reportedly has a so-called "capital expense studies team" tasked with negotiating with suppliers and governments.

While these plans are said to have been triggered by the trade war, the report claims that Apple has decided the risks of relying so heavily on manufacturing in China are "too great and even rising" even if the trade war is eventually resolved.
"A lower birthrate, higher labor costs and the risk of overly centralizing its production in one country. These adverse factors are not going anywhere," said one executive with knowledge of the situation. "With or without the final round of the $300 billion tariff, Apple is following the big trend [to diversify production]," giving itself more flexibility, the person added.
Apple currently relies on Chinese and Taiwanese companies for the vast majority of its manufacturing needs, so diversifying its supply chain would obviously take time. The report cites a source who believes it would take at least 18 months for production to begin in new locations.

Tags: China, Foxconn

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Foxconn: Apple Has Capacity to Make All US-Bound iPhones Outside of China if Needed

Apple manufacturing partner Foxconn says it has enough capacity to make all iPhones bound for the U.S. market outside of China if the current trade war between the two countries intensifies.


That's according to Foxconn board nominee and semiconductor division chief Young Liu, who made the comments at an investor briefing in Taipei on Tuesday, reports Bloomberg.

As the U.S.-China trade war gets more unpredictable, Foxconn – also known as Hon Hai – will "fully support Apple if it needs to adjust its production," he said.
"Twenty-five percent of our production capacity is outside of China and we can help Apple respond to its needs in the U.S. market," said Liu, adding that investments are now being made in India for Apple. "We have enough capacity to meet Apple’s demand."
Liu conceded that Apple has not given its Taiwanese partner instructions to move production out of China, but he said Foxconn is "capable of moving lines elsewhere according to customers' need."

The Hon Hai senior executive said it will respond swiftly and rely on localized manufacturing in response to the trade war, just as it saw the need to have a base in the U.S. two years ago before the trade dispute began.

Foxconn has been considering expanding its production plants in India as a way to diversify its supply chain away from China, where most of the Taiwan-based firm's facilities currently reside.

Apple manufactures most of its iPhones through Foxconn, but the latter's growing India base provides security in the face of Apple's vulnerability to rising U.S.-China tensions over trade and technology.

Foxconn already has plants in India, and in late 2017 it was reported that the firm would invest around $356 million to expand its facilities there to begin assembling Apple's high-end iPhones. Manufacturing iPhones in India could help Apple lower prices by allowing it to avoid a tariff that adds 20 percent to devices imported from China.

Tag: Foxconn

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Foxconn Reportedly Investing in MicroLED Display Tech for Future iPhones

Foxconn is broadening investment in MicroLED display technology in a bid to win orders from Apple for future iPhones, according to a report from the Chinese-language Economic Daily News (via DigiTimes).

MicroLED is widely considered to be Apple's next step after OLED, which it currently uses for the Apple Watch and iPhone XS. MicroLED displays have many of the same advantages that OLED displays have over LCDs, including improved color accuracy, improved contrast ratio, faster response times, and true blacks – given both have self-lit pixels.

However MicroLED displays are thinner, brighter, and more energy efficient than OLED panels. MicroLED displays also have inorganic gallium nitride-based LEDs, which have a longer lifespan than the organic compound used in OLED displays and should make them more resistant to burn-in issues.

Apple's interest in MicroLED was first reported in 2014, when it acquired MicroLED display maker LuxVue. The following year it was discovered that the iPhone maker had also opened a secretive laboratory in Taoyuan, Taiwan to research display technologies like OLED and MicroLED for future devices.

In 2017, the company reportedly scaled back its efforts at that center, possibly switching to a facility closer to home: Apple is believed to have a secretive manufacturing plant in Santa Clara, California, where it is designing and producing display test samples using MicroLED technology.

Image Credit: TrendForce

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) is understood to be providing support for producing smaller form factor applications, which could include future Apple Watch models and AR wearables. Apple has also reportedly had preliminary talks with Taiwan-based company PlayNitride over cooperation in the MicroLED market.

It will likely be a few years before MicroLED displays appear in Apple products – perhaps one year for the Apple Watch and two to four years for the iPhone – once MicroLED displays can be mass produced both reliably and affordably.

When that time comes, Apple will likely outsource full-scale production of the displays, and Foxconn is clearly planning to pick up at least some of the business, if today's report is anything to go on.


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Foxconn ‘Remains Committed’ to Wisconsin Plant and Promise of Eventually Employing 13,000 Workers

Apple supplier Foxconn today said that it remains committed to its contract to build a display plant and research facility in Wisconsin (via Reuters). The company's comment comes a few days after Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers said that the state wanted to renegotiate the Foxconn deal, partly due to the belief that the Taiwanese company was not expected to reach its goal of creating 13,000 jobs in Wisconsin.


Foxconn's original goal for the project was to eventually employ 13,000 workers on the site, and today the company has confirmed that it "remains committed" to this plan. Foxconn initially announced the project in 2017 at a White House event alongside President Donald Trump. Governor Evers recently took office in January 2019, inheriting the deal to Give Foxconn $4 billion in tax breaks and other incentives.
“Foxconn’s commitment to job creation in Wisconsin remains long term and will span over the length of the WEDC (Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation) contract and beyond.”
Over the years, Foxconn's Wisconsin plant has gone through many iterations as the supplier faced new roadblocks and cost-cutting measures. The plant was designated as a TV display factory in its early stages, then pivoted to small to medium-size displays for smartphones, infotainment systems, and other "niche products".

In early 2019, Reuters reported that Foxconn would greatly scale back its plans to produce displays of any kind in Wisconsin and instead focus on research and development. The news came from Louis Woo, assistant to Foxconn CEO Terry Gou, who said Foxconn is "not building a factory" in Wisconsin.

According to Woo, the steep cost of making advanced screens for TV sets and other devices in the United States led to the decision. Around the same time, the company confirmed it had slowed its pace of hiring, down to about 5,200 people expected by the end of 2020.

As of now, Foxconn has fallen short of its employment goals in 2018, hiring just 178 full-time workers rather than the 260 it intended to for the year. The supplier has to meet certain hiring and capital investment goals under its current contract to qualify for tax credits in Wisconsin. With its inability to meet the 260 hiring target last year, it failed to earn a tax credit of up to $9.5 million.

Tag: Foxconn

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Foxconn CEO Terry Gou Plans to Step Back, Confirms iPhone Production Will Begin in India

Terry Gou, the chairman and CEO of Foxconn, plans to step back from day-to-day operations of the company in the coming months.

Getty Images/New York Post

From the South China Morning Post:
"I'm already 69 years old. I hope to pass down my 45 years of experience to young people," said Gou on the sidelines of an event in Taipei on Monday. "That's the goal I set up – let young people learn sooner and take over my position sooner. Then I have more time to make long-term planning for the company."
While it appears that Gou will soon resign as Foxconn chairman, he hopes to remain involved in larger strategic decisions.

Gou, 69, founded Foxconn in Taiwan in 1974. The company has grown to become the world's largest electronics manufacturer, assembling well-known products ranging from iPhones and iPads to the Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4.

Gou also confirmed that Foxconn will soon begin iPhone production in India, although he did not elaborate on the plans. Last week, a report claimed that Foxconn will begin production of the iPhone X in India this July. Foxconn rival Wistron already assembles older models like the iPhone SE and iPhone 7 in India.

Last week, Apple announced that Foxconn and over two dozen other companies in it supply chain have committed to using 100 percent renewable energy when manufacturing Apple products.

Tag: Foxconn

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Foxconn to Begin Production on iPhone X in India This July

Foxconn is set to begin production of the iPhone X in India this July, according to a report by The Economic Times. Production will take place at Foxconn's Chennai plant in eastern India.


According to an official with knowledge of the company's plans, Foxconn hopes to step up production capacity and "diversify to even higher models going forward." Today's report sees Foxconn's plans to move some of its production outside of China begin to take shape, following the manufacturer's trial production of the iPhone X earlier this month.

News about Foxconn's plans to produce high-end iPhones in India emerged late last year. According to a Reuters report, Foxconn invested $356 million to expand an existing plant and take on the new iPhone production, creating as many as 25,000 jobs in the process.

Foxconn has been considering expanding its production plants in India as a way to diversify its supply chain away from China, where most of the Taiwan-based firm's facilities currently reside. Apple manufactures most of its iPhones through Foxconn, but the latter's growing India base provides security in the face of Apple's vulnerability to rising U.S.-China tensions over trade and technology.

Previously, Apple partnered with Wistron to produce iPhones in India, including the iPhone SE and iPhone 6s. When building iPhones in India, Apple is able to avoid import duties placed on imported smartphones and their components. More production in the country also helps Apple meet India's 30 percent local sourcing requirement that would allow Apple to open its own local retail stores.

Production of the iPhone X family in India appears to be part of Apple's revamped India strategy, which also includes better and longer-lasting retail deals with higher sales targets, the opening of official Apple retail stores in India, "overhauling" the company's relationship with independent retailers, and improving apps and services "aimed more closely at Indians." Due to the high price of iPhones in India, and other reasons, Apple has continually struggled in the country, leading to the new strategy.

Related Roundup: iPhone X
Tags: Foxconn, India

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