Apple is looking at further automating its production lines for popular devices including the iPhone, a new report from Taiwan reveals, with the company supposedly planning to automate production this year for its iPhone 6 batteries in order to “reduce its manpower demand.”
“Apple has already automated its Mac Pro and iMac production lines,” Digitimes writes. “Other than materials and final assembly, manpower is not required for the rest of the manufacturing.”
Factors like rising minimum wages in China, and the unwillingness of younger workers to work in the manufacturing industry have apparently contributed to Apple’s decision to increase its reliance on automated production.
After Apple, other brand vendors may follow suit, sources familiar with the matter told the publication. In theory, automated production lines would allow Apple to move manufacturing anywhere it likes, although since other component supply partners and final assembly lines are located in China, Apple is not expected to make “any significant moves in the short term.”
Apple is expected to launch at least a new iPhone 6 model this year, with the company expected to increase the size of the iPhone’s display for the first time ever. Furthermore, the company is rumored to be readying for a massive iPhone 6 launch, with production contracts already awarded to Foxconn and Pegatron – the former is rumored to make 90 million iPhones for Apple this year, while the latter has opened a new factory to meet Apple iPhone demand.
Not long ago, Bill Gates predicted that in the following years, more and more jobs will be awarded to robots rather than humans. “Software substitution, whether it’s for drivers or waiters or nurses… it’s progressing,” Gates said. “Technology over time will reduce demand for jobs, particularly at the lower end of skill set… 20 years from now, labor demand for lots of skill sets will be substantially lower. I don’t think people have that in their mental model.”