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Apple and Nokia assemblyman Foxconn to swap a number of workers with one million robots

Posted: , by Daniel P.

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Apple and Nokia assemblyman Foxconn to swap a number of workers with one million robots
We thought that a high-tech company like Foxconn, which assembles some of the most popular (and hard to assemble) gadgets, like smartphones by Apple, Nokia and others, is already maxed out on robots working the conveyor belts, Japanese style.

Turns out that simple operations like welding, spraying and assembling are still done by the 1.2 million strong army of Foxconn employees, with only 10 000 robots to back them up. Terry Gou, the Foxconn founder, known as a true capitalist who relentlessly pursues efficiency in his factories, is planning to increase the number of robots to 300 000 next year, and one million total in the next three years.

Well, robots don't jump from buildings because of the unbearable life at the conveyor belt, nor do they leak trade secrets about upcoming Apple products, or demand wage hikes, so in the long run the robot move is smart. Wages in China have to keep rising with the inflation that the West money-printing exercise is exporting around the globe, so the robots will definitely be cheaper in the end for repetitive tasks. We are, however, split should we worry about the Foxconn employees who will be without a job due to the robots taking over, or be happy for them leaving the mind-numbing assembly jobs and going back to nature in the rice paddy.

Either way, Apple is rumored already shifting the iPad 3 assembly entirely to Pegatron, trying to diversify contractors, and also mitigate the bad publicity its Foxconn relationship is creating with factory fires, suicides and leaks. Ironically, CEO Terry Gou broke the news at a "workers' dance party Friday night". Guess nobody was doing the robot afterwards.

source: Xinhua via Forbes

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posted on 01 Aug 2011, 02:42 2

1. biophone (Posts: 1893; Member since: 15 Jun 2011)


Good job apple getting away from foxconn. Sucides rates were high but if i am not mistaken less then the global average. Never the less working conditions were baf so moving away from them is smart.

posted on 01 Aug 2011, 08:07 4

10. remixfa (Posts: 13903; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


less than the global average of suicides by jumping off your work roof? They had 17 in one year. I think thats a world leading average.

Well thanks PA, you beat me to my robo-jumping quips!!!!!! lol

1011101011101000110101001110101011000110010001101 - suicide note left by the first robotic arm suicide jumper.

they are going to have to reinforce those jumping nets. I dont think they are strong enough to stop a one ton suicide machine.. lol

whats worse than the working conditions at apple-foxconn? not having a job at all and starving to death. thanks foxconn for screwing your employees even more!!!!

posted on 01 Aug 2011, 09:01

12. taco50 (banned) (Posts: 5506; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)


Care to show a source on your statement of world leading average for suicides?

posted on 01 Aug 2011, 09:24 2

13. remixfa (Posts: 13903; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


taco.. show a source for everything u say. u ask everyone to source everything.. and for the most part we do. you however shoot baseless claims like fireworks and never show proof of anything.

Why dont you do the research and find out if anyone had more than 17 suicides last year since your so interested in debunking my assumption... notice how i said "i think.."

17 is the number of jumping suicides at APPLES foxconn plant last year.

posted on 01 Aug 2011, 03:02 2

2. dbionic (unregistered)


It would have been smarter to cut business with them long time ago.I guess apple doesn't care about those workers as long as their product comes out o n time and at a cheaper price to increase profit..shame on Jobs crew

posted on 01 Aug 2011, 03:30

5. biophone (Posts: 1893; Member since: 15 Jun 2011)


Its not just apple who used them to be fair. Apple invistigated the situation before just cutting ties with a biz partner. Steve jobs talked about this in the d8 convention i think its called.

posted on 01 Aug 2011, 08:08 2

11. remixfa (Posts: 13903; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


right now they are apples only partner for manufacturing ALL iProducts. Its going to be years if ever that they cut them completely.

posted on 01 Aug 2011, 03:02 1

3. bigwavesurfer4 (Posts: 10; Member since: 13 Jun 2011)


lame humor man

posted on 01 Aug 2011, 03:20 1

4. Whateverman (Posts: 3189; Member since: 17 May 2009)


Wow! What a s**tty company! And yeah, that joke at the end...too soon dude. Too soon.

posted on 01 Aug 2011, 03:34

6. biophone (Posts: 1893; Member since: 15 Jun 2011)


I dont think anyone will be doing the robot.although Technology will always progress and people will lose jobs. Look at what happened to blacksmiths. People will adjust and be just fine. The bigger issue i feel is the working conditions.

posted on 01 Aug 2011, 05:03 1

7. r2212xx (Posts: 41; Member since: 18 Apr 2011)


Well at least iPhone owners will have a new thing to brag about- 'Our phones are made by robots'. :D

posted on 01 Aug 2011, 05:05 1

8. Cinnamon (Posts: 87; Member since: 16 Jun 2011)


This is why the world is gonna be screwed later in the future...

posted on 01 Aug 2011, 06:43 1

9. The_Miz (Posts: 1496; Member since: 06 Apr 2011)


*sniff* Do I smell more subtle trolling of Apple by Androne fans?

posted on 01 Aug 2011, 13:07 1

14. rican (Posts: 132; Member since: 02 Jul 2011)


Skynet!!!!

posted on 01 Aug 2011, 19:43

15. remixfa (Posts: 13903; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


since skynet wants to control everything and nuke all enemys i could totally see it being an iDevice gone rogue. Maybe an iphone7? lol

posted on 02 Aug 2011, 00:54

16. 530gemini (Posts: 2198; Member since: 09 Sep 2010)


Great. No more employees complaining. Now they can walk the streets freely...with no jobs, hahahahaha.

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