Key iPhone 15 supplier splashes the cash to avoid repeating its iPhone 14 delay woes

iPhone 14 Pro Max on a grey background
(Image credit: Alex Walker-Todd / Future)

Foxconn is the company tasked with building many of Apple's new products every year. One factory in particular is likely to be responsible for churning out the best iPhones of the year when the iPhone 15 Pro models go on sale, and it's already splashing the cash to get ready.

The Zhengzhou facility, the largest iPhone manufacturing plant on the planet and often referred to as "iPhone City," has reportedly offered increased bonuses to staff in an attempt to ensure that it has enough bodies on hand come iPhone 15 release time later this year. In fact, it's increased those bonuses thrice in a matter of weeks.

The reason? Foxconn seems determined to ensure that it doesn't have a repeat of 2022's fiasco that saw Apple's new iPhone 14 Pro model almost impossible to buy thanks to a global shortage. A shortage caused by iPhone City.

Money talks

According to a South China Morning Post (SCMP) report, "new employees will be entitled to receive bonuses of up to 3,000 yuan (US$424) for at least 90 days of work at the factory." Existing workers "can obtain a referral bonus of 500 yuan."

That comes on the back of not one but two previous hikes. "For example, the highest loyalty bonus for new recruits who remain employed for three months was increased to 2,500 yuan on May 22 from 2,000 yuan on May 3," the SCMP reports.

With the Zhengzhou plant the only one able to produce iPhone 14 Pro models, late 2022 saw a shortage of handsets caused by worker unrest and ongoing COVID-19 lockdowns at the factory. Apple has since been on a drive to move manufacturing and assembly away from China wherever possible.

It now appears that Foxconn is keen to ensure there are no shortages when demand for the iPhone 15 lineup is at its highest — the weeks following an expected mid-September 2023 release.

The Zhengzhou factory can house hundreds of thousands of employees at any one time, but 2022's mess appears to have boxed Foxconn into a corner — and it's willing to spend some of its Apple millions to find a way out.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.