Philippines to Manufacture Apple Products, Transfer from China

Foxconn manufacturing plant

Apple products will be soon made in the Philippines, as China is expected to transfer over 8,000 jobs to the country as a start. This is after Apple, Inc. reportedly pressured Foxconn Technology Group, the company’s major manufacturer, to transfer one of its manufacturing plants to another Asian country.

In a short press conference led by Apple CEO Tim Cook this Monday, he said both companies have chosen the Philippines to be new manufacturer of some vital components of their iPads and iPhones for various reasons. Mr. Cook mentioned Filipinos as very hardworking and can speak English fluently.

“We received tons of positive feedback about Filipinos working in factories in the Philippines and abroad. We are very confident that they can produce high quality products for Apple.” Tim Cook told reporters, noting that they are now in talks with the Philippine government and industrial estate developers.

According to Jorge McDough, Apple’s director for manufacturing, the new Apple facility will be at the Light Industry and Science Park IV (LISP) in Malvar, Batangas. Construction of the first building is set to start in April 2015 and expected to finish in November 2015. Announcement of hiring is being expected soon.

Foxconn has a total 13 factories in China, with the largest factory sitting in Longhua, Shenzhen. It also has manufacturing plants in Brazil, India, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea, Pakistan, Mexico, and Europe. Last January, there were reports saying that Foxconn will build a plant in the US and Indonesia.

Foxconn has been in the middle of controversies, including alleged unsafe working conditions and other labor issues in China. In July 2009, the New York Times reported that a Chinese factory worker in Longhua named Sun Danyong committed suicide after a prototype of iPhone 4 went missing.

Based on the report, the company’s security guards beat Mr. Sun when he denied stealing the new iPhone prototype. Soon after, he was found dead after jumping from 12th floor of an apartment building.
The case ignited rumors that a huge company nearby is manufacturing pirated Apple products.

For the upcoming Foxconn Philippines, international labor groups are confident that local employees will be treated well. According to them, the Philippine government has a good reputation in terms of protecting the rights of its laborers. Laws against piracy are also being strictly implemented, they said.

Apple has still one year to finish its contract with one of Foxconn’s plants in China for its iPhone and iPad units. Among the other major customers of Foxconn are Acer, Blackberry, Dell, Google, Hewlett-Packard, Motorola Mobility, Microsoft, Nintendo, Nokia, Sony, and Toshiba.

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