Foxconn hiring 20,000 workers for iPhone 5 production

The Chinese company that makes the iPhone is hiring in huge numbers ready for the iPhone 5, and to combat strikes.

Foxconn is on a massive recruitment drive in order to meet demand for the iPhone 5, M.I.C. Gadget reports. The Chinese company has already received the order for the next generation mobile, according to the report, and because of strikes, it needs 20,000 more workers.

We're still expecting an Autumn launch though, in keeping with Apple's standard timescale. That's providing Foxconn can find the workers.

The Foxconn plant at Taiyuan is the one in need of the new cohort of workers. It'll be responsible for 85 per cent of the manufacturing of the iPhone 5, according to the report, and in order to meet demand, 57 million of the devices will need to be pumped out a year.

Hundreds of workers at Taiyuan are striking over a pay dispute, with talks ongoing. A manager at Foxconn confirmed to a Chinese language newspaper that some workers were striking, though he wouldn't be drawn on how many. Strikers claim Foxconn promised a pay rise for all staff, then didn't keep its word for entry-level workers. Starting pay at Foxconn is typically 1,550 yuan (£154) a month, rising to 1,800 yuan (£180) after three months. With bonuses and overtime, typically workers earn between 2,200 and 3,500 (£220 -- £350) a month.

Apple recently let the Fair Labor Association into Foxconn's factories to quell rumours about dangerous and inhumane working conditions. Initially the reports were rosy, but since then, the FLA has discovered "tons of issues".

Nowhere near as bad as those spouted by Mike Daisey though. Daisey claimed to have visited factories and met a worker who had his hand mangled while assembling iPads. Daisey presented him with an iPad -- the first time the worker had seen one working -- except... he didn't. Daisey made up the whole thing, causing This American Life to retract its report that Daisey contributed to.

The iPhone 5 is expected around October time. Last week a rumour broke it would have a 4.6-inch screen, but I'm sceptical. A new screen size would be a nightmare for app developers, and seeing as the App Store is one of the biggest selling points of the device, it would be like Apple aiming a gun squarely at its own foot and pulling the trigger.

What would you like to see from the iPhone 5? Let me know in the comments below, or on our Facebook page.

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