The iPhone 6 could be one of the first devices manufactured by the robots Foxconn Technology Co., Ltd (TPE:2354) (OTCMKTS:FXFCOF) is in the process of deploying. Management for the Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) supplier said at their recent shareholder meeting that they are working to enhance their manufacturing process by adding a new line of robots, reports Chinese website ITHome.
Details on Foxconn’s robots
Executives at Foxconn said Apple will be the first customer to benefit from the installation of the robots. The Chinese manufacturer is planning to deploy 10,000 robots, each carry a price tag of between $20,000 and $25,000. On average, they will be able to produce 300,000 smartphones each year.
Management said the robots are currently in the last testing phases and that they will not be selling them to other companies. In fact, they don’t believe they will be able to even make enough to fulfill their own requirements. They’re referring to the robots as “Foxbots,” according to IT Home.
Foxconn could save a significant amount of money, as it has over 1.2 million workers across its multiple factories. In addition to saving money on overtime, production line stoppages and housing, Apple Insider reports that the company could also solve its continual problems with worker rights violations. Foxconn initially announced plans to install robots back in 2011. At that time, management said they already were using approximately 10,000 of them. They planned to increase that number to 300,000 in 2012 and a million by this year. Currently it’s unclear just how many robots are roaming Foxconn’s factories.
iPhone 6 workers hired, release date debated
As is typical, Foxconn recently began a hiring spree to prepare for the ramp-up of manufacturing for the iPhone 6. Reports suggested that the Chinese company brought in up to 100,000 workers to work on the smartphone. At this point, it’s unclear whether Foxconn will be laying off any workers or whether the robots will be supplementing their efforts.
Production of the iPhone 6 is expected to be ramping up in August ahead of a September unveiling and launch. A report from just days ago suggested unveiling dates of Sept. 12, 19, or 26, with a release date nine or ten days before.
Apple is expected to release two iPhone versions this year: one with a 4.7-inch display and a second phablet-sized model with a 5.5-inch display. There have been conflicting reports about whether the company will unveil and launch both models on the same days.