© Apple - for illustrative purposes Electronics Production | December 12, 2018
Sharp shifts iPhone sensor production to China – laying off 3’000
The Japanese company has reportedly laid off over 3’000 foreign temporary workers in Japan as it is shifting production of iPhone sensors to a Chinese plant owned by Foxconn.
Back in November 2017, Sharp won a contract to assemble sensor components for the facial recognition features on Apple’s new iPhone X model – this assembly has since been carried out at the company’s Kameyama plant in western Japan. Before starting production the company increased hiring of foreign workers, only to reduce the workforce this year, according to a report in the Nikkei Asian Review. The Cupertino company is thought to have contracted both Sharp and LG Group to produce the iPhone sensor components; however, a complex assembly process led to shipment delays – which in turn led to a shortage of products when the phone made its debut. According to the report Sharp added more temporary employees to increase its output; the Kameyama plant reportedly had about 4’000 temporary foreign employees in late 2017. However, with the decision by Foxconn to more production to one of its facility in China, the Kameyama facility simply has no need to the additional manpower. However, the company will still continue design development for sensor components; but it has lost revenue due to the production shift to Foxconn's plant in China, the report concludes.