FLA still not completely satisfied with working conditions in Foxconn’s Apple plants

By on August 21, 2012 at 5:20 PM.

FLA still not completely satisfied with working conditions in Foxconn’s Apple plants

Apple Foxconn Working Conditions

The Fair Labor Association has given Apple (AAPL) and Foxconn a tentative thumbs up for their efforts to improve working and safety conditions for their manufacturing workforce, Reuters reports. However, the association also said that Apple and Foxconn still need to submit to audits to ensure that workers aren’t made to work past the legal limit of weekly hours. To meet this goal, Apple agreed to both limit workers’ overtime hours and to hire new workers to meet production demands. More →

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Foxconn’s interest in Sharp could spell trouble for one of Japan’s oldest companies

By on August 17, 2012 at 8:12 PM.

Foxconn’s interest in Sharp could spell trouble for one of Japan’s oldest companies

Sharp Foxconn Investment

Foxconn (2317) is reportedly interested in doubling its planned stake in Sharp (SHCAY) from 9.9% to nearly 20%, according to a report from Japan’s economic journal The Nikkei. In March, Foxconn agreed to invest more than $800 million in the troubled Japanese company, a move that would see it become Sharp’s largest outside shareholder. The deal was to be finalized by March 2013, with Foxconn agreeing to pay 550 yen per share. The Taiwanese manufacturing giant is now asking Sharp to decrease the previously agreed upon price to 200 yen per share however, because its stock price has declined in recent months. While the Japanese company continues to struggle financially, allowing Foxconn to increase its stake in the company may not be its best bet. If Foxconn is able to increase its stake beyond 10%, it will reportedly have the ability to ask a court to dissolve Sharp, which would allow Foxconn to increase its voice in controlling the fate of one of Japan’s oldest companies. More →

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Foxconn to invest as much as $10 billion in Indonesian plant

By on August 15, 2012 at 7:45 AM.

Foxconn to invest as much as $10 billion in Indonesian plant

Foxconn Indoneisa Factory

Foxconn (2354) is planning to invest between $5 and $10 billion over the next 5 to 10 years in a production plant in Indonesia, Reuters reported. The plant will initially be responsible for the assembly and production of an estimated three million handsets per year, according to Indonesia’s Trade Minister Gita Wirjawan. The first investment will begin in October of this year and in July 2013, the project will move to phase two, where Foxconn will begin to build a plant of its own and increase production to 10 million units per year. The Taiwanese company previously revealed that it was interested in Indonesia for its high rate of economic growth compared to Malaysia and Vietnam. Foxconn, known best for assembling Apple’s (AAPL) smartphones, tablets and computers, already operates several manufacturing plants in China and Brazil, where the company recently came under fire for its alleged harsh treatment of employeesMore →

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Foxconn looks for a board seat at Sharp as Apple HDTV nears

By on July 20, 2012 at 7:10 PM.

Foxconn looks for a board seat at Sharp as Apple HDTV nears

Foxconn Sharp Board Seat

Manufacturing heavyweight Foxconn (2354) is reportedly interested in acquiring board seats at Sharp Electronics (6753), DigiTimes reported on Friday. The company received three non-executive board seats at Sharp Display earlier this month after it acquired a 46.48% stake in the company, equivalent to 1.32 million shares. In response to reports that it was seeking a board seat at Sharp Display’s parent company, Foxconn reportedly said that “the company’s focus in cooperating with Sharp is to help complement each’s weakness to allow each side to achieve maximum benefits.” The company did say “a board seat is not really the main focus of Foxconn,” however, adding that it’s “hoping to have more substantial influence to help Sharp improve its management and sales and raise the panel maker’s profitability.” Sharp Display currently supplies display panels used in Apple’s latest iPad, and it is rumored to be building TV panels for Apple’s rumored HDTV, which is expected to launch early next year. More →

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Foxconn plans $1 billion factory in Indonesia to churn out more Apple gear

By on July 18, 2012 at 7:15 PM.

Foxconn plans $1 billion factory in Indonesia to churn out more Apple gear

Foxconn Indonesia Factory

Apple (AAPL) manufacturing partner Foxconn (2354) is planning a billion-dollar factory located in Indonesia, Games Industry International reported on Wednesday. The company said it was drawn to the country over Malaysia and Vietnam due to its high rate of economic growth. Foxconn also noted that the region is “sorely in need” of formal jobs, highlighting that its plant would create more than one million jobs with an average pay of $100 a month. “We are looking forward to establish a new manufacturing plant in Indonesia, although nothing is finalised yet,” a Foxconn representative said in a statement. “This will help us in manufacturing good quality products and make them available in the markets at lower prices. With this, Indonesians will also get better employment opportunities. We will continue our efforts in establishing more manufacturing plants across the globe.” Foxconn already operates several manufacturing plants in China and Brazil, and has come under fire for its alleged harsh treatment of employees. More →

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Foxconn moves to secure Apple HDTV orders, industry exec says

By on June 29, 2012 at 5:45 PM.

Foxconn moves to secure Apple HDTV orders, industry exec says

Apple iTV Manufacturing Foxconn

Recent moves by Foxconn were made with the sole intention of securing a deal to manufacture Apple’s upcoming high-definition television, an industry executive recently claimed. Ho Chao-yang, former head of display panel supplier Chimei Innolux and current chairman of Chi Mei Materials Technology, told Digitimes on Friday that Foxconn’s recent investment in Sharp was aimed squarely at ensuring the manufacturing giant lands the deal to build the much-rumored “iTV.” Ho’s comments join a laundry list of reports from numerous industry insiders who claim that Apple is working on its own HDTV that will utilize Sharp display panels. The device will reportedly employ Siri voice controls, the iOS operating system and possibly even a unique new content distribution model. Launch speculation ranges from the fourth quarter this year to some time in 2014. More →

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Foxconn CEO: iPhone 5 will put the Galaxy S III to shame

By on June 20, 2012 at 5:10 PM.

Foxconn CEO: iPhone 5 will put the Galaxy S III to shame

iPhone 5 Foxconn CEO

During the company’s annual shareholders’ meeting, Foxconn CEO Terry Gou took a shot at Samsung, Apple’s closest competitor. According to Focus Taiwan, citing The China Times, the chief executive has made it a lifetime goal to defeat Samsung. Gou is against “a company with a track record of snitching on its competitors,” referring to Samsung’s decision in 2010 to report four Taiwanese companies that were being investigated by the European Union over a flat panal price-fixing scandal. Gou also urged consumers to wait for the launch Apple’s “iPhone 5″ before purchasing a smartphone — he claims the Cupertino-based company’s next-generation handset will put Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S III smartphone to shame. More →

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Foxconn workers rise up against security guards, dozens arrested

By on June 7, 2012 at 12:03 AM.

Foxconn workers rise up against security guards, dozens arrested

Foxconn Factory Workers Riot

A “minor incident” at a Foxconn factory in Chengdu, China sparked a riot on Monday as a number of workers attacked company security guards. Despite Apple’s efforts to improve conditions in it’s partners’ factories, workers are still displeased. Following an incident involving a theft in a factory dormitory, some employees with grudges against the security guards jumped at the chance to retaliate. The event soon escalated, with more than a thousand workers joining in by throwing trash cans and destroying facilities, Want China Times reported. Foxconn security guards were forced to call the police, who arrived at the scene by the hundreds. The riot lasted for two hours and dozens of workers were reportedly arrested. The plant produces liquid crystal displays for Apple’s iPhone and is the same factory where an explosion killed two workers and injured 16 others last May. More →

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Foxconn to invest $210M in new Apple production line

By on May 21, 2012 at 8:00 PM.

Foxconn to invest $210M in new Apple production line

Foxconn Investing New Production Line

Foxconn, the manufacturer of Apple’s iPhones, iPads and Macs, plans to invest $210 million in a new Apple production line in China’s east Jiangsu province in October, according to a report from China Daily. The 40,000 square meter plant will employ as many as 35,800 workers and will be located in Huai’an City. The office of Taiwan Affairs of Huai’an City confirmed that the plant will house a production line for Apple devices and is expected to output between $949 million to $1.1 billion a year. The report did not indicate which Apple products would be assembled at the new plant, however. More →

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Apple 'iTV' confirmed by Foxconn boss [updated]

By on May 11, 2012 at 9:30 AM.

Apple 'iTV' confirmed by Foxconn boss [updated]

Apple iTV Confirmed

Foxconn Technology Group founder and chief executive Terry Gou has reportedly gone on record in stating that his company will soon begin manufacturing a television for Apple. Production has not yet begun, China Daily reports, and the electronics manufacturing giant is currently preparing its facilities for Apple’s HDTV. The site claims Gou made the comments during a press conference in Shanghai on Friday. Apple’s long rumored HDTV, or “iTV” as it is often called, will reportedly look much like the company’s current LED Cinema Display. It is said to feature an aluminum casing, iOS, voice-powered remote control features courtesy of Siri, and an iSight camera for FaceTime video chats. Earlier reports claim that the device will debut later this year, though another recent report suggests that it might not launch until 2014.

UPDATE: Foxconn denied the report in a statement given to The Next Web. “Any reports that Foxconn confirmed that it is preparing to produce a specific product for any customer are not accurate,” a spokesperson for the company said. More →

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Apple to share cost of improving Foxconn working conditions

By on May 10, 2012 at 12:30 PM.

Apple to share cost of improving Foxconn working conditions

Foxconn Working Conditions

Though dozens of major consumer electronics companies make use of Foxconn Technology Group’s manufacturing services, Apple has repeatedly been singled out as bearing the responsibility to help ensure working conditions at Foxconn’s factories improve. Such is the price of being the most valuable company in the world. Apple recently prompted an independent audit of Foxconn’s facilities by the Fair Labor Association, which found “tons of issues” that needed to be addressed. According to Foxconn boss Terry Gou, Apple will help foot the bill as Foxconn works to address those issues, Reuters reports. “We’ve discovered that this (improving factory conditions) is not a cost. It is a competitive strength,” Gou said. “I believe Apple sees this as a competitive strength along with us, and so we will split the initial costs.” More →

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Brazilian Foxconn workers threaten strike over working conditions

By on April 27, 2012 at 1:47 PM.

Brazilian Foxconn workers threaten strike over working conditions

Factory workers at one of Foxconn’s Brazilian plants are complaining of overcrowded buses, poor food and a lack of water. Unless the issues are resolved by May 3, they are planning to strike, Tech Guru reported on Thursday. Workers reportedly met last Monday to voice their concerns and have given the company 10 days to address them or else over 2,500 employees will strike. Foxconn recently hired more than a thousand workers, however the company did not increase its transport infrastructure, and was also forced to hire water trucks due to the lack of water in the factory. A representative for the employees expressed optimism that a solution would be reached without resorting to a strike. More →

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An inside look at how iPads are made [video]

By on April 12, 2012 at 9:30 AM.

An inside look at how iPads are made [video]

Apple’s iPad and the conditions under which it is built are topics that surface regularly on technology blogs and in the mainstream media. While the company did recently initiate a review by the Fair Labor Association, human rights organizations regularly take Apple to task for not doing more to ensure factory workers employed by its China-based manufacturing partner Foxconn are treated well. Foxconn and parent company Hon Hai employs hundreds of thousands of workers, however, and hundreds more travel from around the country each day to line up and apply for jobs at Foxconn’s various plants. Marketplace Shanghai bureau chief Rob Schmitz was recently given a rare opportunity at operations within Foxconn’s Shenzhen iPad factory, and his crew was permitted to film a number of active stations on the iPad assembly line that have never been seen before. The result is an inside look at some of the fascinating technology that goes into building the world’s most popular tablet. Marketplace’s video follows below. More →

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