Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider
- Building the iPhones – Roughly 350 iPhones can be produced each minute in the factory. It takes almost 200 parts to make a iphone.
- where were iphones invented?- On June 29, 2007, the first iPhone was released and iphones are being released today all the way through iphone X and more are rumored to release.
- what iphones have a headphone jack?- iPhones have headphone jacks all the way through iPhone 6s and 6+ then iPhone 7 through iPhone X.
Half of the world’s iPhones are made at a sprawling Foxconn factory complex in Zhengzhou, China. It employs up to 350,000 people and has spawned its own mini-city, which residents have taken to calling “iPhone City.” We spent a day in “iPhone City,” talking with residents, shop owners, and factory workers to hear about their lives. The story that emerged was one of low pay and long hours, but altogether not that different from other factories in China. Foxconn, the workers told us, is no better or worse than any of the other factories they have worked at. But few saw a way out of the grinding factory lifestyle, where they work six days a week, see their spouses once a week if they are lucky, and frequently work dozens of hours of overtime.
If you use an iPhone, chances are it was made at a sprawling factory complex in Zhengzhou, China, a city of around 9.5 million people in Henan, historically one of the country’s poorest provinces.
The factory, run by Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Foxconn, employs approximately 350,000 people and produces about half of the world’s iPhones. In the busy summer months before the fall release of a new iPhone, the factory produces 500,000 phones a day, or up to 350 a minute.
The Foxconn Zhengzhou Science Park is actually more than 20 miles outside of downtown Zhengzhou, separated by freeways, outer suburbs, and dirt scrub lands.
But with a workforce that rivals most US cities, the factory has sprouted its own type of city, which residents have dubbed “iPhone City.” There, factory workers live in dorms in 10 or 12-story buildings outside Foxconn’s gates, while a migrating workforce of entrepreneurs and vendors sets up shop below to make a living cooking street food, offering massages, or selling socks and other knickknacks.
“These places aren’t like cities,” Thomas Dinges, senior principal analyst at market research firm iSuppli, told CKGSB Knowledge of the communities that form around Foxconn’s factories, of which there are 12 in China. “They are cities.”
We recently spent a day in “iPhone City,” talking to factory workers, restaurant owners, and the many others whose lives rely on Foxconn. Here’s what it was like.
We got to the Foxconn Zhengzhou Science Park around 1 p.m., just after workers’ lunch break. While a few workers milled around the gates, it was a ghost town. An eerie vibe for a factory that employs 350,000 of Foxconn’s 1.3 million employees. Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider
With 1.3 million employees in mainland China, Foxconn is by far China’s largest private employer.
Since the company began producing the iPhone for Apple in 2007, the company has faced accusations of labor abuses, poor working conditions, and harsh penalties for workers who make mistakes.
The company suffered a wave of suicides in 2010 and 2011, which prompted Apple and Foxconn to make changes at the factories.
Another worker committed suicide in January at the Zhengzhou factory. Because of the suicide, and reports that the factory had more aggressive security than some military compounds, I assumed we wouldn’t be able to get in. To my surprise, we walked right past security into the campus. Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider
Sprawling over 2.2 miles and dozens of buildings, it looks like any business park. Trees are everywhere, police and security guards stand on every street corner, and workers on break camp out in the shade. A decade ago, this area was barren dirt and fields of corn and wheat. In 2010, the government bought out local farmers and had the factory up and running within the year. Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider
The complex was built in 2010 with $600 million in assistance from the provincial government. It was built almost exclusively to serve Apple’s iPhone production needs.
Even now, the government provides Foxconn with tons of support, tax incentives, and subsidies to keep production in Zhengzhou. The local government paved new roads to the factory, built power plants, helps covers energy and transportation costs, and pays bonuses to the factory for meeting export targets.
During the first two years of production, those bonuses totaled $56 million, the New York Times reported in 2016.
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