Apple is willing to do anything necessary to make sure it has a steady flow of components from suppliers when it comes to its best-selling products, and a new report from Bloomberg seems to confirm just that. The report reveals that Apple has apparently made an urgent request to Foxconn, the largest device manufacturer in the world and one of the main iPhone and iPad makers, for preferential treatment. And it looks like Foxconn will satisfy Apple’s request, even if that means making a $2.6 billion investment in the process. More →
After some users discovered the iPhone 6 Plus bends when held in pockets in a certain manner, the phenomenon quickly turned into a PR problem for Apple, as #Bendgate videos went viral on YouTube, showing that the phone can be easily bent if enough force is applied in a certain way. Apple has largely refuted those claims by explaining its extensive iPhone torture testing, and saying replacements may be in order for affected customers. Apple’s claims were then backed up by a similar torture tests from Consumers Reports. Now even Foxconn, which makes the iPhone 6 Plus for Apple, has come out in denial of Bendgate with a wild conspiracy theory-type claim. More →
On Wednesday, about 1,000 workers at a Foxconn factory in southwest China reportedly walked off the job to go on strike. Foxconn said workers walked off the job for about four hours at the factory in Chongqing, where they’re demanding higher pay after a recent increase in production and reduction in overtime.
Launching a smartphone in 115 countries and regions within a four month timespan would be difficult enough to pull off without unprecedented demand, but if Apple is going to push its latest flagship worldwide, it’s going to need some help. Digitimes reports that iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus manufacturer Foxconn Electronics is hiring workers at its Chinese plants in droves in order to meet demand. More →
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.