In a strange turn of events, market watchers in China have leaked that the notorious Apple contractor Foxconn is planning to build a manufacturing plant in the States.
Electronics makers such as Apple generally outsource their manufacturing to the Far East to cut costs and take advantage of the Mainland’s extensive work force. Foxconn is one of the biggest of these outsourced manufacturers, and makes sure that all the kids in middle America get their new iPhones in time for Christmas. The lower salaries and material costs in China have traditionally made it a ripe target for device makers who want to keep their expenditure to a minimum.
..Which is why it’s completely unintuitive that Foxconn would be trying to build a company in the US.
…Or is it? With each new generation of device, the technology embedded in them become more and more complex. Especially in the case of iPhones, each new model seems to try and cram more and more components into an ever-tightening space. However, there is one electronic product that doesn’t face that problem: LCD displays. Analysts predict that it will be these displays, and not Apple’s iProductLine that get their green cards, so to speak.
So where does this theory stem from? Recently, there has been somewhat of a trend in the US, where many product makers with manufacturing plants based in China have started announcing their plans to bring manufacturing back to the US. In order to solve the cost difference between the two continents, makers have begun to get cozy with a new burgeoning technology: automation.
The trend began with electric vehicle maker Tesla Motors, who completely manufacture their Model S cars in America, using multi-limbed sophisticated robots with more tentacles than a Japanese comic book.
Tesla Motors' automated factory at work
Hoping to jump in on the homegrown boom, many other makers have started vowing to rid their manufacturing process of all connections to the East, and thus in one sweep banish the problems of exploitation accusations and intellectual property theft which constantly rear their head in the industry.
Foxconn is in a very fragile position if such a boom continues to fruition, as suddenly they will have no clients left. Not one to be left behind, Foxconn is taking the initiative and attempting to go automatic before their American friends can beat them to the chase. The new factory search in America is probably directly related to this strategy.
Any concrete plans are still unclear, and the topic still remains hearsay, but sources state that Foxconn are currently scoping out Detroit and Los Angeles as potential build sites for their new factories. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.