AN INVESTIGATION into one of Apple's main iPhone manufacturing partners has revealed that up to 3,000 students are working up to 11 hours each day assembling iPhone X handsets in order to fulfil demand for the flagship phone.
The £1,000+ phone went on sale at the end of last month, but according to an admission from Apple supplier Foxconn, meeting that level of demand meant using 3,000 student interns to assemble the devices.
According to the Financial Times, students from Zhengzhou Urban Rail Transit School - where they're training for railway-related occupations - were made to take part in the 'training scheme', and Foxconn subsequently confirmed that the law had been broken in allowing the students to work overtime.
Ms Yang, an 18-year-old student quoted by the publication, said that working 11-hour days wasn't exactly a choice, despite it officially being voluntary.
"If I don't stay I won't graduate school, but my body can't take it... My mum says if I can't stand it, maybe I can leave school and work with my dad."
Undoubtedly, the pressure to deliver the new iPhone X alongside two other new iPhone models would have added to the labour overhead required to meet that demand - and using interns to assemble them isn't illegal in China in itself, but allowing them to work overtime is.
Apple, in a statement to The Star, said that when it became known that interns were assembling the phones illegally, it took "prompt action". In the same report, the founder of US-based China Labor Watch, said that Apple had known for at least two weeks before deciding to intervene.
Foxconn, for its part in this, says that interns only make up a tiny percentage of its workforce and aren't allowed to work more than 40 hours per week.
In the few weeks since the device went on sale, its had a bit of a tumultuous time, having Face ID tricked by a 10-year-old, suffering from 'crackling' audio problems and really disliking cold weather. µ
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