Foxconn, Apple's current manufacturer for the iPad 2, has recently announced its intention to substitute workers with robots.
One million robots will take the place of Foxconn employees over the next three years, as the Chinese company aims at reducing labour costs whilst enhancing the production efficiency, according to a statement made by Terry Gou, founder and chairman of Foxconn. Gou made the surprising announcement last Friday, during a workers' dance party, Apple Insider reports.
For the time being, the company using 10,000 robots, but by next year that number will have risen to 300,000, reaching 1 million in three years. Thus, the current number of 1.2 million employees would be dramatically reduced, with the robots taking over some tasks that are usually carried out by workers: spraying, welding and assembling the units.
The decision might have arisen after the unfortunate events of the previous year, with several workers within the Chinese company committing suicide, drawing the attention of the international media. At the time, Foxconn tried to address the tricky situation by offering entertainment time to its employees and by raising their salaries, which has led to higher costs.
Maybe by replacing workers with robots Foxconn is also attempting to outrun its recent rival, Pegatron, which has begun producing Apple's iPhones and could soon expand to iPads and Macs as well.