Even though we’ve grown very used to seeing Apple products leak well before they’re launched, the iPhone 6 seemed to leak even more than usual as we couldn’t go a day without seeing yet another leaked picture of the device’s rear shell. The Wall Street Journal now reports that a Foxconn employee has been detained by Chinese police for his alleged role in stealing iPhone 6 rear shells from a Foxconn factory and selling them to a local electronics retailer for 1,000 yuan (~USD $162) a piece. More →
Apple is without question Foxconn’s largest and most important client. The China-based electronics manufacturing giant has seen its revenue skyrocket since it began building iPhones and iPads for Apple, and 2014 will seemingly be the biggest year yet for the iPhone, with two new models set to debut and as many as 80 million units on order.
Since the iPhone 6 and “iPhone Air” phablet comprise Foxconn’s most important project ever, the company isn’t taking any chances — the biggest of Foxconn’s big guns has been called upon to ensure that everything goes as planned. More →
Foxconn has recently confirmed that it plans to deploy a fleet of robots in some of its factories to work on products for Apple, but the “Foxbots” will not be able to replace its human workforce just yet. Quoting a report from Chinese site UDN, G for Games says that robots will only play a supporting role in building devices such as the iPhone 6, as they won’t be able to perform certain tasks that require more subtle assembly or manufacturing procedures. More →
Foxconn is on an iPhone 6-related hiring spree, but the giant Apple supplier isn’t only looking for human workforce. IT Home reports that Foxconn may rely on some 10,000 robots to make Apple’s 2014 iPhone models, in addition to humans, with each machine capable of building up to 30,000 units per year, for a theoretical total of 300 million iPhones per year. More →
Chinese manufacturing giant Foxconn, which has more than one million employees, is the biggest electronics maker in the world. The company builds many of the popular electronics devices available in stores around the globe, including Apple’s iOS devices. However, Foxconn has not been running a smooth operation, as it had to deal with several scandals.
After being heavily criticized for labor practices in the past, the company is now part of a different investigation which revealed that several former employees allegedly took bribes totaling more than $5 million from component suppliers in return for preferential treatment. More →
Like it or not, Google is building a robot army. After acquiring eight different robotics firms over the past year, the company is putting a lot of resources into both robotics and artificial intelligence, although we don’t yet know what its endgame for robots is or even if there’s any endgame at all. The Wall Street Journal reports that longtime Apple manufacturing partner Foxconn is very interested in using Google’s robots to automate its assembly lines and has been “quietly working with Google” on its super-secret robotics project. More →
BlackBerry isn’t only suing Ryan Seacrest these days — it’s also getting ready to release some new smartphones through its new manufacturing partner Foxconn. Focus Taiwan reports that the first Foxconn-produced BlackBerry handsets will make their debut at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February, although we still don’t know for sure how many new devices Foxconn plans to show off just yet. BlackBerry signed a deal with Foxconn to produce handsets aimed at emerging markets last year, which gives the company more space to refocus its efforts on producing enterprise-centric software and services. Although BlackBerry’s first Foxconn-produced handset, codenamed “Jakarta,” will be a touchscreen-only device, CEO John Chen has said that he wants to see physical keyboards on the majority of new BlackBerry handsets going forward.
After becoming a dominant force in emerging markets, Foxconn might be eyeing the United States as its next base of operations for future factories. cnYES reports that Foxconn Technology Group is now planning to set up two factories in the U.S., on both the East Coast and West Coast, to begin focusing on high-end smartphone and tablet manufacturing. Apple and Foxconn have been drifting further and further apart over the past few years as Apple has started to shift its operations back to the U.S., and Foxconn has been looking into expanding outside of building products for other vendors. More →
Samsung isn’t the only supplier that Apple is trying to rely less upon these days. Unnamed sources tell The Wall Street Journal that Apple is expanding its roster of manufacturers so that it won’t have to depend so heavily on Foxconn parent company Hon Hai going forward. The Journal’s sources say that a combination of factors, including public relations headaches caused by Foxconn’s controversial labor practices and poor yields of the iPhone 5 last year, have led to rising tensions between the two companies. To ease its reliance on Foxconn, Apple will turn to Taiwanese manufacturer Wistron to help with iPhone 5c production and to Compal Communications to help with iPad mini production.
7-Eleven convenience stores may soon be good for more than crusty hot dogs and oversized sodas. The Wall Street Journal reports that 7-Eleven is teaming up with iPhone manufacturer Foxconn to sell some of Foxconn’s own television sets in 7-Elevens across Taiwan. What’s more, the Journal says that the two companies “may cooperate in making smartphones and tablets in the future,” which would certainly expand 7-Eleven’s market well beyond the realm of unhealthy snacks. Foxconn has been pushing recently to make its own smartphones and tablets comes as the company is trying to lessen its dependence on Apple and broaden its revenue sources. Foxconn unveiled its first Firefox-based tablet earlier this year and the company plans to produce at least four more Firefox devices by the end of the year.
We’re getting close to Apple’s next-generation iPhone 5S launch this fall and that means manufacturer Foxconn is going on a major hiring binge to fill Apple’s orders. Unnamed sources tell Focus Taiwan that Foxconn is hiring 90,000 new workers at its Shenzhen production facility to help the company fill “massive orders from Apple” that will include the iPhone 5S and the new budget iPhone. The iPhone 5S will reportedly feature an upgraded version of the A6 processor, improved graphics, 2GB of RAM and a 12-megapixel camera with a dual-LED flash while the budget iPhone has been rumored to feature a 4-inch display, a less powerful processor, 1GB of RAM and a plastic case that comes in multiple colors.
Foxconn is best known as the manufacturer of Apple’s assorted mobile devices, but the company is trying to expand its reach into new areas by manufacturing its own devices based on Mozilla’s Firefox operating system. The Wall Street Journal reports that Foxconn parent company Hon Hai is about to embark on its most adventurous scheme yet after it submitted “an application for a fourth-generation high-speed mobile spectrum license in Taiwan.” The Journal says that Hon Hai is trying to invest in more high-margin businesses because it has found that manufacturing electronics simply isn’t as profitable as it has been in years past.
It seems like we’ve been hearing rumors forever about Apple releasing its own “iWatch” that acts as a key accessory to the iPhone. But apparently, longtime Apple manufacturing partner Foxconn got tired of waiting around and decided to take matters into its own hands with its very own iOS-compatible smartwatch. CNET reports that Foxconn executives this week showed off a new watch “that can wirelessly connect to an iPhone to display incoming phone calls and Facebook posts.” The launch of the Foxconn watch comes at a time when the company has started trying to lessen its dependence on Apple by building its own consumer electronics products to boost its overall margins. No release date or pricing has been announced for the new Foxconn smartwatch at this point.