Is PlayStation 4 Demand On Par With Apple's iPhone?
Sony's (NYSE: SNE) upcoming game console seems to be reaching a new level of popularity.
In order to keep up with the growing demand for PlayStation 4 (which is still a month away from release), Foxconn has reportedly forced its interns to work extra hours to assist with assembly.
According to a CNET translation of a games.qq report, Foxconn violated its own policy when it forced students to work night shifts and overtime hours. The assembler did this in order to better prepare for the launch of PlayStation 4.
In a statement to CVG, Sony reiterated its supplier code of conduct:
"The Sony Group established the Sony Supplier Code of Conduct in June 2005 with the expectation of every supplier agreeing and adhering to the policies of the Sony Group in complying with all applicable laws, work ethics, labour conditions, and respect for human rights, environmental conservation and health & safety. We understand Foxconn fully comprehend and comply with this Sony Supplier Code of Conduct."
At the same time, Foxconn -- a subsidiary of Hon Hai Precision Industries (OTC: HNHPF) -- admitted that it had colluded with Xi'an Institute of Technology to lure interns. More than 1,000 engineering students were told that if they didn't participate in the internship program, they wouldn't receive the course credits they needed to graduate.
In a statement to Quartz, Foxconn claimed that "immediate actions have been taken to bring that campus into full compliance with our code and policies."
The manufacturer is "reinforcing the policies of no overtime and no night shifts for student interns, even though such work is voluntary, and reminding all interns of their rights to terminate their participation in the program at any time."
This seems to be the first time that a video game console has caused a stir at Foxconn. But it was not the first problem incurred at the manufacturer.
One of the most prominent involved a plant closure after employees rioted in response to the harsh iPhone 5 manufacturing demands.
Instead of making regular employees work overtime, Foxconn went after students this time, hoping for better (cheaper and less volatile) results. Things did not work out as planned, however. The students may not have rioted, but the truth came out, casting another dark shadow on the world's largest assembler.
While this may not confirm that PlayStation 4 demand is on par with the iPhone, it does suggest that Sony's console is one of the most anticipated electronic devices ever created.
Disclosure: At the time of this writing, Louis Bedigian had no position in the equities mentioned in this report.
Louis Bedigian is the Senior Tech Analyst and Features Writer of Benzinga. You can reach him at louis(at)benzingapro(dot)com. Follow him @LouisBedigianBZ
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