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Apple supplier Foxconn is to reportedly quadruple the workforce at its India iPhone factory, from 17,000 currently to 70,000 in 2024.

According to Reuters, the company plans to add 53,000 workers in the next two years.

The Apple supplier has faced difficult conditions in China, where, just weeks ago, workers at its Zhengzhou facility fled from a COVID outbreak and subsequent lockdown.

In remarkable scenes, footage posted(Opens in a new window) on Chinese social media appeared to show workers fleeing the factory on foot. In one of the videos, people are seen pulling suitcases as they scale a hillside, while another shows people sitting with their luggage by the side of a road as someone in protective clothing sprays what seems to be disinfectant at them.

The trouble at the factory means that production of iPhones could slump by as much as 30%(Opens in a new window) at what is the largest iPhone production facility in the world – just as Apple prepares for Christmas. And earlier this month, Apple noted in a statement reported by Bloomberg(Opens in a new window) that the slowdown at the factory would lead to customers experiencing longer wait times to receive their new products.

The Taiwan-based company is seeking to increase the workforce at its plant in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, as it shifts production away from China, Reuters reported.

The Indian factory opened in 2019, and production was originally limited to older models but it has since started producing(Opens in a new window) the iPhone 14.

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According to a Foxconn source speaking to PhoneArena, the facility turns out handsets mostly for domestic consumption, but its expansion will allow Foxconn to “not only meet growing domestic demand in the world’s second-largest smartphone market, but it will also allow the firm to build more basic iPhone units for global distribution.”

 In 2021, Foxconn was responsible for 70%(Opens in a new window) of total iPhone shipments. 

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