Taiwanese research firm TrendForce says Apple has tagged Luxshare to assemble the iPhone 15 Pro Max alongside Foxconn next year. TrendForce doesn’t say what percentage of iPhone 15 Pro Max units Luxshare will take on. The move will help lessen Apple’s reliance on a single assembly partner, following the COVID-related workplace issues that Foxconn has been dealing with.
Foxconn’s Zhengzhou plant employs approximately 200,000 workers and is Foxconn’s largest iPhone factory. Foxconn assembles 70% of all iPhones sold by Apple. The company has struggled to retain employees, due to China’s restrictive lockdowns required by the country’s zero-COVID policy.
The Zhengzhou plant was hit by stringent COVID-19 restrictions last month after an outbreak at the factory. The outbreak caused the city of about 10 million people to be locked down.
Riots soon broke out as workers protested over living standards and a failure to pay promised bonuses, which Foxconn put down to a “technical error” when hiring new recruits.
A recent rumor from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman when suggested that instead of an “iPhone 15 Pro Max,” we’ll get an “iPhone 15 Ultra.” His comments jibe with those of Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Kuo says Apple could offer exclusive features for the iPhone 15 Pro Max next year to spur more customers to purchase the more expensive device.
Due to production issues and economic headwinds, TrendForce has lowered its iPhone shipments forecast for the first quarter of 2023 to 47 million units, which would be a year-over-year decline of 22%.