With Apple’s iPhone recently coming to market in 21 more countries and the likely launch of a new smartphone model from the Cupertino company in 2012, it may come as little surprise that Apple supplier Foxconn is planning to expand its Zhengzhou production facility in China, a move that will make it the biggest smartphone manufacturing plant in the world.
The expansion will see Foxconn increase the number of production lines at the facility to 95, with the aim of bringing in $20 billion in sales revenue in 2012.
Foxconn’s Zhengzhou plant currently employs 130,000 people who help to produce 200,000 iPhones a day. Foxconn is currently the world’s biggest electronics manufacturer, employing just over a million people, mostly in China. The company makes products for a number of companies besides Apple, including Hewlett-Packard, Sony, Dell, Nintendo and Microsoft.
Recent reports have indicated that Apple’s iPhone is losing market share in some parts of the world, namely continental Europe. However, it continues to sell well in, for example, the US, UK and Australia.
While the slow down in sales can be largely attributed to consumers opting for cheaper devices during what is a challenging economic period, there are probably a fair few who are holding off purchasing an iPhone 4S in the hope that Apple will launch a new iPhone 5 device in early 2012, possibly with a larger screen among other design improvements. Foxconn, whose new factory will be up and running some time next year, will certainly be hoping the next iteration of Apple’s popular smartphone proves a big hit with consumers.