Suicides and Strikes Could Push Up iPhone Price

While the world put itself on pause yesterday to evaluate the impact of the forthcoming iPhone 4, speculation in economic circles suggest the price of the device could well be forced up in the coming months– whether Apple likes it or not.

The Financial Times is reporting that unrest within the manufacturing industry over in Asia could well have an adverse effect on the price of scores of consumer goods in the west.

The paper claims a spate of suicides and union strikes at Taiwanese manufacturer Hon Hai Precision Industry– which manufacturers iPhones, as well as iPads and iPod Touches– may well force the firm to up its rates.

The commercial side of Hon Hai’s business, Foxconn, has revealed the loss of staff will result in it raising its wages by 20 percent across the board, with the wages of staff who excel being boosted by 66 percent.

Crucially, the firm hasn’t revealed how it will pay for these wage increases, but it has been candid in its desire to spread the cost amongst its partners, like Apple.

Tellingly, the company told the paper in an official statement that ‘could not predict how the additional cost would be shared’, but added ‘we are applying international standards now. The time has come for the global food chain to face these issues.’

Indeed, many economists have already accused China (where Foxconn is officially based) of undervaluing its currency, allowing manufacturing firms to pick up contracts at an artificially low price. Any up in the wages across Asia could result in a rise in consumer goods prices across the US and Europe, with iPhone seemingly target number one.

[Via Financial Times]