What do all of the previous iPhone launch days have in common? Huge crowds. If you’ve ever decided that you simply must have a new iPhone on launch day–and you didn’t preorder it–you’ll inevitably find that you have to wait several hours in line. The good news is, you might not have to wait so long in line for the new iPhone 5 when it comes out either this summer or this fall. Why? Well, largely because the production plant for the iPhone 5 is currently going on a hiring spree–which should mean a significant number of iPhone 5 devices will be available.
According to a report from the China Morning News paper, the production plant for the iPhone 5–Foxconn in China–is currently looking at hiring some 20,000 people. The report says that these workers will be used exclusively to build the iPhone 5.
It’s worth mentioning, of course, that Foxconn may be hiring such a large number of workers to compensate for the many workers who are currently striking. Anyone who’s followed the Foxconn reports of suicides and poor working conditions over the past several months knows that many workers are dissatisfied with working for Foxconn, which is why they’re striking. However, it’s also worth mentioning that, by hiring 20,000 people, Foxconn is more than compensating for the striking workers.
So why are Foxconn workers striking right before production of the iPhone 5 heats up? Foxconn workers are reportedly striking for two reasons: work conditions and pay. Foxconn workers are paid roughly 1,550 yuan (equivalent to $245 in USD) per month, which even in China is a rather paltry wage. They also work over 10 hours per day with minimal breaks.
The strike doesn’t really mean much for the production of the iPhone 5. Even with the conditions, there are still thousands of people willing to work in the Foxconn factory, so Foxconn will have no problems with filling the iPhone 5 production slots. Assuming they take a couple weeks to hire everyone, we’re looking at an April start date for production of the iPhone 5. That means the iPhone 5 will likely get released either in the late summer of 2012 or early fall (September/October).
As always, we’ll keep you posted on the latest on the iPhone 5.