Apple is in trouble: iPhone sales drop, workers flee China plant due to quarantine and starvation

November 1, 2022  14:39

Apple has faced a number of problems in recent months. Sales of iPhones in China have plummeted -- amid declining sales of the new iPhone 14 around the world. There have also been problems at a Chinese factory, where workers have been fleeing en masse due to quarantine and starvation. In addition, Apple recently left managers responsible for store management and information infrastructure.

Why are workers fleeing the iPhone smartphone factory?

Workers are fleeing en masse from Foxconn's largest iPhone smartphone factory in Zhengzhou, China. Many photos and videos of people climbing over fences and fleeing the plant have circulated online.

According to Business Insider, the Zhengzhou plant employs about 200,000 people who assemble most of the iPhone smartphones. The factory recently came under quarantine due to new outbreaks of COVID-19, which has led to a drastic drop in the quality of life for workers: they are forced to work, eat and even sleep in the factory. Those who are sick are quarantined and given only bread and instant noodles to eat. Many others are not even given this and have to look for food on their own.

Foxconn representatives claim that the situation is completely under control and that workers are given food and medicine, and buses are provided for those who want to leave.

However, the media are not sure that everything is really under control. Moreover the plant is likely to hide the real scale of the exodus of workers, and it's possible that soon the production of iPhones at Foxconn factories could drop by 30%.

Why are iPhone sales falling?

Admittedly, the drop in iPhone production may not create additional problems for consumers, as demand for these smartphones also seems to be falling.

Recently, according to Bloomberg, the popularity of the iPhone in China has declined sharply, and experts believe this is a worrying trend for Apple, because the Chinese market is one of the key for the company.

According to Jefferies analyst Edison Lee, from June to August iPhone sales rose by 5.7%, but over the past month they have fallen to previous levels or even lower: the company lost 4-5% of the market, but the reasons for this have not yet been named.

Perhaps it's all about competition: today you can find a lot of good smartphones of Chinese brands, which offer good features for a low cost. Against the backdrop of economic problems around the world, many users may begin to prefer these devices.

Apple smartphones today are not selling well in other countries - not only in China. The company even plans to reduce the production of iPhone 14, which, it seems, users did not particularly like: many customers complain about a number of problems associated with these smartphones, moreover, their characteristics are also not particularly competitive.

Apple may also be cutting back on production of the iPhone 14 Plus, whose sales have been near zero.

Why are executives leaving Apple?

Despite all the problems, Apple finished the third quarter better than many of its competitors, according to its quarterly reports. However, the company is undergoing personnel changes today: at least three vice presidents have left the company in the past month.

According to Bloomberg, Anna Mattiasson, who was responsible for online stores, and Mary Demby, who was responsible for corporate information systems for three decades, have left Apple. Evans Hankey, Apple's head of industrial design, also left in October, and Jane Horvath, Apple's chief information security officer, left earlier this year.

The reasons for the departure of these specialists are not yet known - they can only be guessed. All we know so far is that the role of Apple's Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri has temporarily taken over. It is not reported who replaced the other specialists who left.

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