0 to 250K in seven years, 0 to 3 billion in ten years


Zhengzhou, China — Farmer Zhang Hailin remembers the day in 2010 when he watched as helicopters flew in over fields of corn and wheat here, hovering in spots to drop balloon-shaped markers. “Three days later, a hundred bulldozers were here,” Mr. Zhang said.

The iPhone was coming, and it wouldn’t be long before a new industrial town on the edge of Zhengzhou would be known as iPhone City. Within months, boxy beige factory buildings appeared, power lines were connected and buses packed with workers began rolling up to Foxconn Technology Group, which assembles most of Apple Inc.’s smartphones.

A year later, Foxconn’s billionaire chairman Terry Gou said the iPhone factory complex had 100,000 workers. Today, Foxconn says it employs about 250,000, roughly the population of Madison, Wis.

Analysts estimate that Foxconn, formally known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co, makes 150 million iPhones each year, along with 20 million iPads and other electronics. Foxconn said it employs 1 million people across China and elsewhere, including southern Shenzhen, where it began manufacturing the first iPhone amid great secrecy.

It’s pretty amazing that the iPhone just had its 10th anniversary a few days ago, and now over half the people on the planet have a smartphone. What happens in the next ten years?

One Response to “0 to 250K in seven years, 0 to 3 billion in ten years”

  1. feeblemind Says:

    What happens in the next 10 years?


    If we knew we’d be rich.

    As for China, I will readily concede that the pace of change has been mind boggling.

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