Apple Increasing Asia Staff to Speed Up Production

Applestore logo

Apple is hiring engineers and supply-chain managers for its Chinese and Taiwanese operations to boost product development and launch of a wider range of devices, reports the Wall Street Journal. The iPhone-maker is even luring away engineers from rival HTC, who will join Apple’s team in Shanghai and Taipei.

The hiring push reflects Apple’s need for more engineers to work with Asian suppliers on developing components for coming iPhones and iPads as it plans for faster and more frequent product launches. Apple is also ramping up its number of supply-chain managers in the wake of criticism over factory conditions at some of its suppliers.

Apple has added several hundred new engineers and operations staff in China over the past two years, with a blitz of hiring that began in mid-2013, people familiar with the matter said. The total number of engineers and operations staff in China now exceeds 600, they said.

The hiring push comes at a time when Apple is taking steps to bring manufacturing back to the US (e.g. the Mac Pro). Its main sources of revenue are still the iDevices, so Apple has multiple motives for boosting its Asian team.

Due to the shortening product cycle, Apple is increasing its Asian staff. Also, the iPhone maker is aiming to get a bigger bite of the Chinese smartphone market, and the company has high hopes after inking a deal with leading Chinese telco, China Mobile.

The new positions will range from working with suppliers on hardware development for touchscreens and cameras, to electrical engineering and software quality assurance, the job postings reveal.

Apple is also hiring supply-chain managers to eliminate the criticism over supplier factory conditions.

After 2013 marked the first year that Apple had launched two devices, the WSJ also reinforced earlier rumours claiming there will be two bigger-screen iPhones this year.