Monday, November 7, 2011

iPhone Manufacturer Foxconn to Build an 'Intelligent Robotics Kingdom' in Taiwan (AAPL)

First up, Digital Trends:
Get used to the name Foxconnn, as its corporate logo will almost certainly be printed on the chests of our future machine overlords. The Taiwanese company (although one of China’s largest employers) responsible for (among other things) assembling Apple‘s various iPhones is moving ahead with plans to fill its workforce with a larger number of machine minds. Company chairman Terry Gou signed a letter of intent this week with Taichung mayor Jason Hu that lays out the company’s plan to build a production facility described as an “intelligent robotics kingdom” in the Central Taiwan Scienec Park, Focus Taiwan reports.

Gou expects to see a $4 billion dollar value from the investment as the plant comes together over the next three to five years. As many as 2,000 jobs will be created to brings this plan together, though the long-term view of such a move will ultimately end up putting people out of work....MORE 
From Reuters:
Insight: Dreaded "Brazil cost" may dim Foxconn's iPad dreams
The nondescript stretch of asphalt is an unlikely symbol of Brazil's attempt to lift its economy into a new high-tech era.

If officials in the industrial town of Jundiai get their way, it will soon be named Steve Jobs road -- in homage to the late Apple Inc co-founder and a nod to the expected windfall that producing iPads and iPhones here will bring.

Brazil's government has loudly proclaimed a deal it says is worth $12 billion for Taiwanese technology giant Foxconn to produce iPads and build a whole new industry based around screens used in an array of consumer electronics from smartphones to televisions.

But the infamous "Brazil cost" -- shorthand for the bureaucracy and high taxes that plague business in the country -- is already overshadowing the deal, complicating negotiations with Foxconn over the broader investment plan. The likely need for large state subsidized loans to lure Foxconn also revives concerns about the state's heavy hand in Brazil's economy....MORE

Aug, 2011 
As U.S. Productivity “Surge” of 2007-09 Melts Away, Foxconn to Replace Workers With One Million Robots; Solves Suicide Problem

...A year ago the headline were "Foxconn to Hire 400,000 China Workers Within a Year" and folks were probably hearing the Mandarin equivalent of "These are good jobs, that can't be outsourced..."

Now they'd have to add "...Except to our new robotic overlords"

(Don't email, I know the 400k new jobs were outside of Shenzhen and the robots are going in at the H.Q. campuses, Reuters has more)
Oct. 2011 
"Robot lawyers, human cashiers"