Apple Inc. Robotic Factory Tipped Off by Foxconn

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By Athena Yenko | July 2, 2014 9:52 AM EST

Controversial CEO for Hon Hai Precision Industry Comp, Ltd., Terry Gou, tipped-off that its subsidiary Foxconn is in the final works of a robotic factory. Apple Inc. is believed to be the very first client that will be serviced when the factory operates.

REUTERS/Issei Kato
SoftBank Corp. Chief Executive Masayoshi Son (C) shakes hands with Aldebaran Robotics CEO Bruno Maisonnier (L) and Foxconn Technology Group chairman Terry Gou during a news conference in Urayasu, east of Tokyo June 5, 2014. Japan's SoftBank Corp unveiled the human-like robots which it will use to staff its cellphone stores and personal usage at a home, in a move aimed at expanding the mobile phone and Internet conglomerate's technological reach. Son announced the plan at a news conference on Thursday, the robot will go on sale to public in Japan from February 2015, which price is about 198,000 yen. Softbank will use technologies developed by French robotics company Aldebaran, in which it took a stake in 2012.

Gou hinted about the robotic factory during Hon Hai's annual shareholders' meeting. Although the CEO did not directly named Apple Inc., there are basis that the company will be the very first client that will be given access to the factory.

Foxconn is Apple Inc.'s chief manufacturer of the estimated 60 million iOS devices that the company sold during the first quarter of fiscal year 2014. With this, Apple Inc. is by large Foxconn's biggest client, DAILYTECH noted.

DAILYTECH also noted that Apple is the most discerning of clients as it always demands its suppliers to lower the cost of production without sacrificing the quality. The company is also adamant against leak from suppliers. Hence, robots will be highly beneficial for Apple as Foxconn will not be paying humans anymore as robots take their jobs - this will lower the cost of production; and robots, obviously, are not capable of divulging Apple's upcoming products.

According to DAILYTECH, Foxconn's robots are being made at an average of 30,000 robots yearly but Foxconn don't sell them.

"Because we don't have enough for our own use yet," Gou said.

In November 2012, Foxconn had already installed 10,000 robots to at least one factory in China. The robots are called "Foxbots" and were created to perform the task of the assembly line. Each robot was bought between $20,000 and $25,000.

However, a report from Taiwan's Economic Daily News said that Foxconn is on a hiring spree of 100,000 additional workers to meet the production demand for Apple's next generation iPhone, the iPhone 6. According to the report, Foxconn had increased its workforce by ten per cent for the production of the iPhone 6 as compared during the production of the iPhone 5 and iPhone5s.

According to unnamed sources, Foxconn is also on its way of making massive expansions to two of its productions lines in order to meet the demand for the iPhone 6. Foxconn is believed to have been tasked to produce all assembly of the 5.5-inch "phablet" version of the iPhone 6.

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(Photo: REUTERS/Issei Kato / REUTERS/Issei Kato)
SoftBank Corp. Chief Executive Masayoshi Son (C) shakes hands with Aldebaran Robotics CEO Bruno Maisonnier (L) and Foxconn Technology Group chairman Terry Gou during a news conference in Urayasu, east of Tokyo June 5, 2014. Japan's SoftBank Corp unveiled the human-like robots which it will use to staff its cellphone stores and personal usage at a home, in a move aimed at expanding the mobile phone and Internet conglomerate's technological reach. Son announced the plan at a news conference on Thursday, the robot will go on sale to public in Japan from February 2015, which price is about 198,000 yen. Softbank will use technologies developed by French robotics company Aldebaran, in which it took a stake in 2012.
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