In the wake of reports of improved supplies of the iPhone 5s at Apple retail stores comes news on the reason for the improvement. Apple manufacturing partner Foxconn has reportedly dedicated 100 assembly lines to the popular handset, and is now operating 24-hours a day.
More than 300,000 employees at Foxconn’s Zhengzhou, China factory are working exclusively on iPhone 5s production, reports The Wall Street Journal. The production increase appears to have significantly eased supply constraints — yesterday, AppleInsider noted research from Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster suggesting that more than 90 percent of iPhone 5s SKUs were available in retail channels, indicating that Apple’s supply chain has nearly caught up with market demand.
Shipping estimates in the Apple online store have dropped from 2-3 weeks down to 3-5 days.
“We have been churning out about 500,000 iPhone 5Ss everyday, the highest daily output ever,” said an executive who declined to be named.
Total assembly time for each unit is said to be the culprit responsible for the severely limited supplies of the handset at its launch, says the report. The iPhone 5s reportedly requires 600 workers per assembly line, versus the 500 required for the iPhone 5 or iPhone 5c, increasing the total assembly time for each unit.