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
89 months ago
Hire some Apple enthusiasts.
They make good robots & follow Apples lead blindly. :)
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
motulist Avatar
89 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
89 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
89 months ago
if the foxbots aren't working, lets bring in the the fembots:

Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ActionableMango Avatar
89 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
89 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

mac scanner permission error

Apple Says Fix Planned for 'You Do Not Have Permission to Open the Application' Error When Using a Scanner on Mac

Saturday August 14, 2021 6:15 am PDT by
In a newly published support document on its website, Apple has acknowledged an error that some users may receive when they try to use a scanner with a Mac in the Image Capture app, Preview app, or the Printers & Scanners section of System Preferences. A screenshot of the error message from the HP Support Community When attempting to use a scanner with a Mac, Apple said users might get an...
original iphone

Phil Schiller Says iPhone Was 'Earth-Shattering' Ten Years Ago and Remains 'Unmatched' Today

Monday January 9, 2017 7:15 am PST by
To commemorate the tenth anniversary of the iPhone, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller sat down with tech journalist Steven Levy for a wide-ranging interview about the smartphone's past, present, and future. The report first reflects upon the iPhone's lack of support for third-party apps in its first year. The argument inside Apple was split between whether the iPhone should be a closed...
Apple Prefer Lightning Over USB C Feature

iPhone Sticking With Lightning Port Over USB-C for 'Foreseeable Future'

Tuesday March 2, 2021 9:32 am PST by
Apple will retain the Lightning connector on the iPhone for the "foreseeable future," with no intention of switching to USB-C, according to reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In spite of much of the industry moving toward USB-C, Apple will not be using it to replace the Lightning connector on the iPhone 13, or indeed on any iPhone model for the time being. In a note seen by MacRumors yesterday,...
apple california streaming event

Apple Event Announced: 'California Streaming' on September 14 With iPhone 13, Apple Watch Series 7 Expected

Tuesday September 7, 2021 9:03 am PDT by
Apple today announced that it will be holding a special event on Tuesday, September 14 at 10:00 a.m. The event will take place at the Steve Jobs Theater on the Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California. As with WWDC and last year's fall events, this new event will be held digitally with no members of the media invited to attend in person. Apple will likely provide pre-taped segments for...
iOS 15 icon on phone

Apple Seeds Sixth Betas of iOS and iPadOS 15 to Developers

Tuesday August 17, 2021 10:05 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the sixth betas of iOS and iPadOS 15 to developers for testing purposes, with the updates coming one week after Apple released the fifth betas. Registered developers can download the profile for the iOS and iPadOS betas from the Apple Developer Center, and once the profile is installed, beta updates will be available over the air. iOS 15 is a major update that...
youtube apple tv

YouTube Discontinuing 3rd-Generation Apple TV App, AirPlay Still Available

Wednesday February 3, 2021 3:09 pm PST by
YouTube is planning to stop supporting its YouTube app on the third-generation Apple TV models, where YouTube has long been available as a channel option. A 9to5Mac reader received a message about the upcoming app discontinuation, which is set to take place in March.Starting early March, the YouTube app will no longer be available on Apple TV (3rd generation). You can still watch YouTube on...
omg lightning cable comparison

Security Researcher Develops Lightning Cable With Hidden Chip to Steal Passwords

Thursday September 2, 2021 6:59 am PDT by
A normal-looking Lightning cable that can used to steal data like passwords and send it to a hacker has been developed, Vice reports. The "OMG Cable" compared to Apple's Lightning to USB cable. The "OMG Cable" works exactly like a normal Lightning to USB cable and can log keystrokes from connected Mac keyboards, iPads, and iPhones, and then send this data to a bad actor who could be over a...
maroon5memories

Apple Collaborates With Maroon 5 to Add 'Memories' Song to Photos App

Wednesday September 25, 2019 12:02 pm PDT by
Apple has teamed up with Maroon 5 to add the group's new song "Memories" to the Memories feature in the Photos app, allowing it to be used for photo slide show creations, reports Billboard. "Memories" will be available as a soundtrack option for a limited time and it is available to iPhone and iPad users running the latest iOS 13 and iPadOS software. Memories in the Photos app are created ...
it home ecommerce app iphone 13

iPhone 13 to Launch on September 17, AirPods 3 on September 30, Claims Report

Wednesday August 25, 2021 2:42 am PDT by
Apple may be planning to launch the iPhone 13 on Friday, September 17 and third-generation AirPods on Thursday, September 30, according to an image of an e-commerce app discovered by Chinese language site IT Home. The screenshot, originally posted by Weibo account @PandaIsBald, suggests all four iPhone 13 models will go on sale on September 17, followed by the AirPods 3 on September 30....
Top Stories 75 Thumbnail

Top Stories: Last-Minute iPhone 13 Rumors, Apple Announces App Store Changes, and More

Saturday September 4, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
The finish line is in sight! Apple's annual iPhone event is likely just a week or so away and all eyes will be on the company as it unveils the next version of its most popular product line. With any luck, we'll also see the next-generation Apple Watch and perhaps even some new AirPods. Other news this week saw Apple making some more changes to its App Store policies in response to a...