Foxconn Robots Proving Unsuitable for iPhone Assembly, Updated Versions in the Works

Foxconn recently deployed robots to help assemble iPhones and other Apple devices, but so far the program may not be as successful as first anticipated. According to the Chinese economic website Jiemian (via G for Games), the first-generation Foxconn robots are not precise enough to meet Apple's standards.

foxbot
In the first stage of deployment, the "Foxbots" have been tasked with menial jobs that include the assembly of larger components and tightening screws. Unfortunately, the bots are proving to have an accuracy to 0.05 mm, which is above the 0.02 mm tolerance required to assemble Apple's products.

Part of the issue involves the lineage of the robots, which were adapted from the car manufacturing industry. The larger, clunky robots are not designed with the flexibility necessary for the assembly of Apple's thin and complex devices. Foxconn reportedly is working on the second-generation Foxbot, but the technology still may need additional years of refinement before it can make a meaningful contribution to the assembly process.

Foxconn has been seeking ways to improve production to meet Apple's demand for iPhone and iPad units. The company routinely increases its hiring ahead of planned Apple product launches with the company reportedly hiring up to 100,000 new workers to help assemble the iPhone 6. The manufacturer also may be looking to enter the display market with a new display manufacturing plant in Taiwan.

Top Rated Comments

bawbac Avatar
84 months ago
Hire some Apple enthusiasts.
They make good robots & follow Apples lead blindly. :)
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
motulist Avatar
84 months ago
I said this a while ago. Sadly, a life in China isn't the same the world over. A 16 year old girl is always going to do this job cheaper in China.

If I were Emperor of the USA, I would say that if a company sells 50% of their goods in the USA, at least 50% of the goods must be manufactured in the USA. If not, 75% tariff on 100% of goods sold in the USA. Take America back!!!!!!!

Please tell me this comment was a joke.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Carlanga Avatar
84 months ago
Chinese (humans) are cheaper than robots — fact.

Probably not since if that is true then they wouldn't be repurposing these robots in the first place.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nostaws Avatar
84 months ago
if the foxbots aren't working, lets bring in the the fembots:

Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ActionableMango Avatar
84 months ago

If I were Emperor of the USA, I would say that if a company sells 50% of their goods in the USA, at least 50% of the goods must be manufactured in the USA. If not, 75% tariff on 100% of goods sold in the USA. Take America back!!!!!!!
You're a very short-sighted Emperor who is ignorant of the inevitable retaliation that occurs when you implement protectionism.

Doing what you suggest, economic protectionism, leads to trade wars and hurts more than it helps. Basically, you'd create a bunch of menial, low-wage jobs in America and take those away from China. Sounds, great, right? Well, sorta great because they are low-quality jobs. But hey, that's better than no jobs, right?

But then China gets pissed about this, because low-wage menial manufacturing jobs are the main thing they are competitive with on the world stage, so they inevitably retaliate. First off they'll switch from buying Boeing planes to buying Airbus planes. Asia and China in particular is one of the largest growth markets for the airline industry, so this is super bad. Boeing has to lay off thousands of people. Congratulations, you've traded high-wage, high-quality American Boeing jobs across several states for low-wage menial manufacturing jobs.

So then the US gets pissed and, I dunno, puts a huge tariff on imported memory chips (something we've actually done in the past), because that also hurts China and it protects US chip manufacturing. But since most memory chips aren't made in the USA, there isn't enough supply so most chips are still imported, just at higher cost, and now all computers, tablets, smart phones, etc. cost an extra $100.

So Japan gets pissed at the chip tariff and counteracts by slapping a tariff on American apples, cherries, and potatoes. Now Washington and Idaho farmers are really hurting too. But good thing you've got those ultra crappy menial jobs assembling iPhones like robots in the USA, jobs that Americans don't even like to take in the first place, which is why immigrants almost always fill the ranks of produce pickers, meat processing plants, and the like.

I could go on and on. This isn't theoretical. This is exactly what happens.

If *I* were Emperor I would encourage American competitiveness for high-wage, high-quality jobs by further supporting education, promising start-ups, high-tech business, and advanced sciences.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cocky jeremy Avatar
84 months ago
I said this a while ago. Sadly, a life in China isn't the same the world over. A 16 year old girl is always going to do this job cheaper in China.

If I were Emperor of the USA, I would say that if a company sells 50% of their goods in the USA, at least 50% of the goods must be manufactured in the USA. If not, 75% tariff on 100% of goods sold in the USA. Take America back!!!!!!!

No thanks. I'd rather my stuff be put together by competent Chinese people than Americans that don't care to do the work correctly.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

tracking disabled ios 14 5

Analytics Suggest 96% of Users Leave App Tracking Disabled in iOS 14.5

Friday May 7, 2021 1:51 am PDT by
An early look at an ongoing analysis of Apple's App Tracking Transparency suggests that the vast majority of iPhone users are leaving app tracking disabled since the feature went live on April 26 with the release of iOS 14.5. According to the latest data from analytics firm Flurry, just 4% of iPhone users in the U.S. have actively chosen to opt into app tracking after updating their device...
tile amazon sidewalk integration

Tile to Leverage Amazon Echo and Ring Devices to Better Compete With AirTags

Friday May 7, 2021 2:07 pm PDT by
Amazon today announced that it is teaming up with Tile to add Amazon Sidewalk integration to Tile's Bluetooth trackers. Amazon Sidewalk, for those unfamiliar, is a network of Amazon Bluetooth devices that's designed to improve the connectivity of devices like the Ring and Amazon Echo. Tile will now be joining Amazon Sidewalk, and through this integration, Amazon Echo and Ring devices will be ...
Top Stories 59 Feature

Top Stories: Epic Games vs. Apple, Hidden AirTag Mode, Apple Music Hi-Fi, Colorful MacBook Air?

Saturday May 8, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
While we wait for the newly introduced iMac, iPad Pro, and Apple TV models to launch later this month, this week saw the kickoff of the big Epic Games v. Apple trial, with lots of juicy tidbits coming out as the two sides make their arguments. This week also saw some rumors about a Hi-Fi tier for Apple Music, more biometric sensing capabilities for Apple Watch, and timing for the...
airtag hacked

AirTag Successfully Hacked to Show Custom URL in Lost Mode

Monday May 10, 2021 1:52 am PDT by
The inevitable race to hack Apple's AirTag item tracker has reportedly been won by a German security researcher, who managed to break into the device's microcontroller and successfully modify its firmware. Yesss!!! After hours of trying (and bricking 2 AirTags) I managed to break into the microcontroller of the AirTag! 🥳🥳🥳/cc @colinoflynn @LennertWo pic.twitter.com/zGALc2S2Ph— stacksmashing ...
macbook colors 3d black bezels

Prosser: Next MacBook Air Could Come in Colors Similar to iMac

Friday May 7, 2021 6:55 am PDT by
According to Apple leaker Jon Prosser, Apple's upcoming release of the MacBook Air will feature various colors, similar to the colors in the newly released 24-inch iMac. In the latest video of his YouTube channel Front Page Tech, Prosser says the same source who accurately provided him information on the first Apple silicon iMac coming in colors has told him that he recently saw a prototype...
zoom app icon

Apple Gave Zoom Access to Special API to Use iPad Camera During Split View Multitasking

Sunday May 9, 2021 2:00 am PDT by
Zoom, a hallmark platform used by millions during the global health crisis, has been given access to a special iPadOS API that allows the app to use the iPad camera while the app is in use in Split View multitasking mode. This case of special treatment was first brought to attention by app developer Jeremy Provost, who, in a blog post, explains that Zoom uses a special API that allows the...
Apple 5G Modem Feature

Kuo: Apple-Designed 5G Modem May Debut in iPhones as Early as 2023

Sunday May 9, 2021 10:02 pm PDT by
Apple plans to adopt its own custom-designed 5G baseband chip starting with the 2023 iPhones, meaning it'll no longer need to rely on Qualcomm to supply the 5G cellular modem for the iPhone, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in an investors note obtained by MacRumors. According to Kuo, Apple plans to include its own custom-designed 5G baseband chip starting with the launch of the 2023...
3d printed airtag case siri remote

3D-Printed Case Lets You Attach an AirTag to Your Apple TV Remote

Monday May 10, 2021 8:11 am PDT by
Apple recently released a redesigned Siri Remote with a physical clickpad, but if you have an original Siri Remote laying around that you still plan on using, you may be interested in getting an AirTag case for the remote. Etsy user PrintSpiredDesigns has capitalized on the opportunity with a new 3D printed, made-to-order AirTag case for the original Siri Remote. The remote slides into the...
iPhone 13 Camera Backs

iPhone 13 Models Will Be Slightly Thicker and Will Have Larger Camera Bumps

Monday May 10, 2021 10:41 am PDT by
Apple's upcoming iPhone 13 models will be slightly thicker than the iPhone 12 models and will also feature larger, thicker camera bumps with lenses that protrude less, according to iPhone 13 schematics seen by MacRumors. The new iPhone 13 and 13 Pro models are expected to feature a thickness of 7.57mm, up from 7.4mm in the iPhone 12 models. That's an increase of 0.17mm, which won't be hugely ...
ifixit m1 macbook teardown

Leaked MacBook Schematics Have Aided Independent Technicians Performing Complicated Repairs

Monday May 10, 2021 8:51 am PDT by
Independent technicians have reportedly been able to use leaked MacBook schematics to aid repairs (via Vice). Last month, Apple supplier Quanta Computer was hit with an attack by the ransomware group known as "REvil," leading to a large quantity of internal Apple documents about both released and unreleased devices being exposed. The leaked PDFs, available on a number of forums and online...