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Robots might be stealing iPhone 6 assembly jobs from humans

Published Jul 7th, 2014 7:45AM EDT
iPhone 6 Foxconn Robots
Image: Mark Pelin

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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.

Foxconn CEO Terry Gou revealed during a shareholders meeting the robots are in the final stages of testing and, once deployed in at least one Foxconn factory, they will be used primarily to meet Apple’s demands, its biggest client.

The robots, dubbed “Foxbots,” cost from $20,000 to $25,000 per unit to build, and Foxconn will not be making them for other companies, as it doesn’t have enough for its own needs.

Foxconn already has over one million employees in its factories, and is expected to receive a large portion of iPhone 6 orders later this year. The company already utilizes robots in its assembly lines, but it’s not clear what’s special about these new Foxbots that are supposed to be used in the near future. Gou did not reveal any other details about Foxconn and whether these robots will be able to build an entire iPhone without help for humans, or whether they’ll be simply responsible for certain aspects of the iPhone build process.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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