Foxconn Stories February 1, 2016

A report today is saying that Google wants to become more like Apple in its Nexus lineup of phones and tablets – that is to say it wants more control over the marketing and building of its products. But can Google build up its hardware engineering at the same time without alienating its hardware/carrier partners and even Apple? … expand full story

Foxconn Stories October 12, 2015

OnePlus partners with Foxconn to manufacture phones in India

At an event in India this morning, OnePlus announced that it has partnered with Foxconn to start making phones at the Foxconn Rising Stars factory in the Sri City Integrated Business City in Andhra Pradesh. OnePlus expects they will begin to assemble phones there by the end of this year. Pete Lau, OnePlus’ co-founder was at an event in Bengaluru this morning and stated:

“Producing smartphones in India is one of the most important decisions that we have made so far at OnePlus, and we are thankful to the Government of Andhra Pradesh and Foxconn for helping us make this happen. India being one of our biggest markets worldwide, we are committed to a long term sustainable growth path. This move will strengthen our presence and help us step up momentum in India.”

OnePlus isn’t the first phone maker to take part in the ‘Make in India’ initiative. Just a few weeks ago, one of China’s biggest manufacturers, Xiaomi, announced a brand new phone which was made in India, for the Indian market. Like OnePlus, Xiaomi is making its phones in the Foxconn Rising Stars factory.

Once up and running, OnePlus will be able to use its 30,000 square foot facility to manufacture up to 500,000 smartphones every month, employing 1,000 new full-time workers. The first ‘batch’ of phones, likely to be the unreleased and unannounced ‘OnePlus X’ will be made available in India before 2016 swings in.

 

Foxconn Stories May 12, 2015

Cyanogen receives more ‘strategic investment,’ this time from Foxconn

The details are very scarce at this point, but a fresh press release this morning reveals that Cyanogen has received a “strategic investment” from Foxconn, closing out its series C round of funding. While an exact number isn’t mentioned (in fact no details are really mentioned), the release does say that Cyanogen has raised a total of $110 million in funding to date, assumably including the amount that Foxconn has invested.

Cyanogen received $70 million in an investment round in January, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal. Some amount of that was from Microsoft, another company that Cyanogen calls its partner. Kirt McMaster, Cyanogen’s CEO, was quoted as saying that the company plans to “take Android away from Google,” and apparently Foxconn—like Microsoft—will happily support this venture.

Foxconn Stories July 1, 2014

Samsung publishes sustainability report, shows a long way to go

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The Verge observes that Samsung’s new 2014 Sustainability Report shows that the company has a lot of work to do to get its manufacturing in order.

As part of its 2014 Sustainability Report, Samsung commissioned independent inspections at 100 of its suppliers in China and the results make for grim reading …

expand full story

Deal: Get Pixelbook at 25% off: $750!

Foxconn Stories April 25, 2014

Google buys communications-related patents from key Apple supplier Foxconn

Foxconn, best known for manufacturing Apple products, says that it has sold display patents to Google for an undisclosed sum. Details are vague, with the briefest of statements quoted in the WSJ stating only that they were related to “communications technology.”

Foxconn has been seeking to reduce its dependence on Apple, which provides around 40 percent of its business, with its own product lines. Patent sales provide a further form of diversification for the company, which says that it has been granted more than 64,000 patents to date, and applied for a similar number again.

Foxconn Stories February 11, 2014

Future iPhones could be built by Google robots on Foxconn production lines

In what would be a rather amusing twist, future iPhones could be built by Google robots as Google’s robotics division assists Foxconn to “speed up robot deployment” at its factories.

The WSJ reports that Foxconn was looking for assistance in automating its production lines, while Google is aiming to introduce robots to manufacturing processes that have so far been largely manual – electronics assembly being a key example. It takes around 600 people to make each iPhone.

Foxconn has been working with former Android executive Andy Rubin since last year to carry out the U.S. company’s vision for robotics.

To speed up robot deployment at its own factories, Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou met with Rubin in Taipei recently and they discussed new robotic technologies, they said.

At the meeting, Gou expressed excitement over new automation technologies demonstrated by Rubin, they said. Rubin also asked Gou to help integrate a technology company that Google is acquiring as Foxconn’s strength lies in mechanical engineering.

Google has acquired eight robotics companies over the course of the past year, and is believed to have ambitions to create a robotic operating system that would be to manufacturing what Android is to smartphones. Foxconn is looking to reduce operating costs and boost efficiency.

“Foxconn needs Google’s help to step up automation at its factories as the company has the lowest sales per employee among the contract makers, given its large workforce,” said Wanli Wang, an analyst at CIMB Securities.

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