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Lower Air Quality in Some Chinese Cities Linked to iPhone 12 Production: REPORT

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Air quality data from certain Chinese cities are pointing to a surge in the production of the iPhone 12, according to analysts.

Morgan Stanley analysts (via CNBC) found that there has been a sharp increase in industrial production in some cities such as Zhengzhou, and this increase has led to a corresponding decrease in air quality.

“Using air quality data from a non-profit platform that collects and publishes air quality data in China, we track nitrogen dioxide levels (controlling for temperature, humidity, wind, etc.), which, according to the European Space Agency, is a first-level indicator of industrial activity, in four Chinese cities where Apple’s manufacturing partners have a large manufacturing presence,” the analysts wrote.

The city of Zhengzhou is also known as “iPhone City” and is a key site in the production of iPhones.

“As of October 26th, air quality data from Zhengzhou, also known as ‘iPhone City,’ shows that industrial production levels have spiked higher recently, about a month later than historical seasonality, which we believe coincides with the ramp in iPhone 12 mass production,” Morgan Stanley analysts wrote in a note this week.

The report in part reflects how higher-than-expected levels for this time of year correlate with the delayed schedule of the iPhone in 2020.

In July, Apple released its new environmental vision, declaring its goal to become carbon neutral by 2030. Of the 21.5 million metric tons of CO2 released by Apple in 2019, 76 percent of it came from product manufacturing. Apple has already taken some steps to reduce this, claiming that removing the charger from the box of its iPhone lineup will save the company 2 million metric tons of CO2 every year.

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