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

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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16 Comments

1. biophone

Posts: 1994; Member since: Jun 15, 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.

10. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 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!!!!

12. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

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

13. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 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.

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

5. biophone

Posts: 1994; Member since: Jun 15, 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.

11. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

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

3. bigwavesurfer4

Posts: 13; Member since: Jun 13, 2011

lame humor man

4. Whateverman

Posts: 3295; Member since: May 17, 2009

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

6. biophone

Posts: 1994; Member since: Jun 15, 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.

7. r2212xx

Posts: 41; Member since: Apr 18, 2011

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

8. Cinnamon

Posts: 87; Member since: Jun 16, 2011

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

9. The_Miz

Posts: 1496; Member since: Apr 06, 2011

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

14. rican

Posts: 132; Member since: Jul 02, 2011

Skynet!!!!

15. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 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

16. 530gemini

Posts: 2198; Member since: Sep 09, 2010

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

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