The updated Apple Supplier Responsibility page — which details the company’s efforts to regulate excessive work weeks at the factories of its long list of suppliers — shows that work-hour compliance fell further to 87% in September.
Work-hour compliance reached its peak in June, when it showed 99%, but since then it has continued to fall: 93% in August and, as the latest numbers show, it now stands at 87%. Apple currently tracks work hours for more than 1 million employees per week.
In fact, this year’s work-hour compliance percentage hardly differs from the same period a year ago. Back then, the highest percentage of supplier compliance was recorded in August, with 97%, and then fell 9% to 88% a month later in September 2012 (Apple tracked 900k workers last September).
As Apple notes on the Supplier Responsibility page, the company’s efforts have paid off: Last year, its suppliers achieved an average of 92% compliance across all weeks, and the average amount of hours worked per week didn’t pass the 50-hour mark. The legal limit of work hours is 49 in China.
Considering that last year the supplier compliance numbers showed a similar pattern, the drop is likely due to the new product launches, which is a peak production period for its suppliers. And Apple has done its homework: It has launched two iPhone models, the iPhone 5s and 5c, and it is making preparations to launch the iPad Air and the iPad mini with Retina display.