Foxconn may replace human employees with robots, at least those associated with the production line of the iPhone. During a recent shareholder meeting, Hon Hai Group CEO, Terry Gou detailed the process. He claims that robot testing has entered the final testing phase.
Apple will have priority to use these Foxbots, as the official calls them. The Cupertino company sold about 43.7 million iPhones in the first fiscal quarter of the year, making Apple the biggest customer for Foxconn. Once the project is done, each robot will be able to assemble an average of 30,000 devices. Gou names the robots Foxbots and claims that Foxconn won’t sell the bots, because there aren’t enough to go around.
Foxconn said it had 10.000 robots prepared for deployment and each of them costs around $20,000 to $25,000. Foxconn makes an average of 30k robots per year and ever since 2012 such machines have been installed in Chinese factories. In spite of the robotization of the production line, Foxconn is said to have hired an extra 100,000 workers to meet production demand. Keep in mind that Foxconn is also making a 5.5 inch iPhone this year, not only the 4.7 inch one.