A WSJ piece on Foxconn ramping up production of the iPhone 5s to meet demand provided an interesting glimpse at some of the numbers involved.
Foxconn operates 100 production lines, which are now operating at maximum capacity 24/7 to turn out 500,000 iPhones 5s handsets per day according to the report. Each iPhone represents the combined work of around 600 people. The unnamed Foxconn source said that this amounted to 100 people more than for the iPhone 5c due to the increased complexity of the high-end phone …
For the iPhone 5C or the iPhone 5, we only have 500 workers per production line as the assembly procedure is less complicated.
While the relationship between Apple and Foxconn is a crucially important one to both companies, each side is reportedly looking to reduce its reliance on the other – Apple looking to diversify its supply chain, and Foxconn keen to retain capacity for other clients. Apple currently represents around 40 percent of Foxconn’s revenue.
Availability of the 5s was initially heavily constrained, especially the gold model whose popularity appeared to take Apple by surprise. It was suggested yesterday that supplies may have almost caught up with demand, but we wouldn’t recommend relying on this if you plan on buying one as a holiday gift.