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What it takes to make an iPhone: By the numbers
Apple's glamorous gadgets are assembled by an army of 1.2 million underpaid, overworked Chinese employees. Here, a glimpse at their grueling factory lives
 
Apple's devices are assembled by workers who are typically only 18 years of age.
Apple's devices are assembled by workers who are typically only 18 years of age.
Ramin Talaie/Corbis

What exactly does it take to get an Apple product into your hands? This week, ABC's Nightline took viewers on an insider tour of China's Foxconn plants, where Apple phones and tablets are made — and where, says Joshua Topolsky at The Verge, the hours are controversially long, the wages are low, and the work is brutally monotonous. Here, a look inside the world of Apple manufacturing, by the numbers:

141
Steps required to make an iPhone

24
Hours of labor it takes to manufacture the phone

325
Sets of hands it takes to make a single iPad

5
Days it takes to make a single iPad

$1.78
Hourly wage of new Foxconn employees, according to ABC's report

$2.18
Hourly wage of 75 percent of Foxconn's workforce

1.2 million
Workers employed by Foxconn

18
Typical age of Foxconn employees

12
The average shift, in hours, for Foxconn workers

7
Seconds it takes to complete a single step in the manufacturing process. "We are extremely tired, with tremendous pressure," one worker said. "We work faster even than the machines."

$17.50
Monthly rent Foxconn employees pay to secure sleeping space in a dorm room. Each room sleeps six to eight people.

$0.70
Price each Foxconn employee pays per meal

$12.50 to $30
Approximate cost of labor for a single iPhone

$199
Starting retail price for the iPhone 4S

$650
Approximate revenue each iPhone generates for Apple, according to Horace Dediu at Asymco

37 million
iPhones sold in the last quarter of 2011

$97.6 billion
Apple's cash on hand

Sources: Apple Insider (2), ASYMCO, New York Times (2), TUAW, The Verge, VentureBeat

 

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