Minimum Wage Consequences? iPhone 6 Will Be Made By "FoxBots"

Tyler Durden's picture

First it was burgers, then waiters, traders, and recently earnings-report-writers; but now it's iPhones. The endless pressure to raise minimum wages, demand bathroom breaks, expect to sleep, and tolerable breathing standards have finally culminated in China's FoxConn - manufacturer of the iPhone - to use a 'robot army' to build the new model. As The Daily Mail reports, The firm has pledged to have a million robot workers by the end of the year - and CEO Terry Gou has revealed the robots, dubbed 'Foxbots', are in the final stages of testing.


As The Daily Mail reports,

It is believed Foxconn will install 10,000 robots as a test.




Lines dedicated to Apple devices getting first priority, according to IT Home.


It says Gou told a shareholder meeting that Apple would be the first company to take advantage of the new robot workers meaning that its next product - the iPhone 6 - will be manufactured in this way.




Each $25,000 Foxbot can complete an average of 30,000 devices per year it has been claimed.


Foxconn, which currently employs more than 1.2 million workers at its various factories across China.


However, the firm's robot initiative has been delayed since it was first announced in 2011.


At the time, Gou said the company had about 10,000 units already in operation, a number that was supposed to rise to 300,000 in 2012, then one million by 2014.

*  *  *

Great news for FoxConn stock... how long until China rules robots illegal?

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pods's picture

So how long until the first robot jumps off the roof?


cougar_w's picture


Well let's hope those same FoxBots can buy iPhones on credit, or else this whole shit stack is coming down in a heap.

Slave's picture

lol exactly.

Perhaps robots are people too?

Citxmech's picture

Wait a minute.  300,000 FoxBots that can produce 30,000 iPhones/year.  

Isn't that like 9 Billion phones/year?  WTF?

cougar_w's picture

The new iPhone comes with a pre-installed opt-out "loseMeQuickly" app that -- if left with the default settings -- causes the phone to become "lost" (ha ha) within a few days after purchase.

So yeah, 9 billion should about do it.

CrazyCooter's picture

When do we get robots that replace these douchebag leaders we have ... ? I fail to see how a robot could possible screw things up worse than a bunch of vote monkeys and PhD econs.



cougar_w's picture

We have robots playing in the stock market already, I think that's about enough power for them for a while, thanks.

I don't see how having actual monkeys in Congress would cause a serious degredation in service, actually. Might be worth a try.

logicalman's picture

I think congress is mostly well shaved monkeys with their tails removed right now.

It's the only explanation that makes sense.


CrazyCooter's picture

They will just throw shit, penis fence, and screw each other. If we throw in free liquor they might just leave us all the hell alone!



seek's picture

I know I'll invoke the wrath of the bitcoin haters here, but part of the idea behind it is to replace central banking with a distributed system that regulated by a common algorithm. Obviously the kleptocrats don't approve, but it really isn't out of the realm of possibility to have large parts of the economy run by deterministic, non-tinkering algorithms. My preference would be free markets, but I'd rate the robotic approach as more preferable to the Fed any day.

Supernova Born's picture

Seek is interesting so delete comment and upvote.

Freddie's picture

Hopefully this does not lead to another (Scientologist) Will Smith movie with his ugly kid.

Cruel Aid's picture

Never saw it. The clip was enough. Bad nepetism.

StychoKiller's picture

Oh yeah?  Well, you can bite my splintery, wooden @zz!

CCanuck's picture

The US government has ruled that a robot can make political contributions, as such they are deemed to be persons.


CrazyCooter's picture

Oh, I think I should go file a process patent by which a serial number can be used to establish a corporation (i.e. a person) ... might as well try to make some money while this shit sinks!



Siniverisyys's picture

Hero of Alexandria developed the world's first steam engine in 50 AD. Emperor Vespasian bought the engine and destroyed it. He said "You must let me feed my poor commoners / Sine me pascere plebeculam meam." It was developed again 1,700 years later.

lincolnsteffens's picture

They are not people, they are persons. Just as SCOTUS. 

Sudden Debt's picture

They should have the robots making the phones in the nevada desert. Than they would get the "made in America" label.

But it does make you wonder...

Factory jobs done by robots
Warehouse orderpicking and clarck jobs done by robots...
Stores with robots, housekeeping by robots...

There's 6 billion people.

Let's hope our society can keep feeding them because otherwise we'll get the rise of the lower educated zombies.

And of you make a phone all by robots... At minimum costs... How do you justify a 600 dollar phone?

And wasn't it supposed to be that robots would make our lives better and not hungrier?

Sophist Economicus's picture

Yup.   Used to take thousands of people to make roads, bridges, tunnels lay railroad track, etc -- now it just takes a few people and lots of machines to do these things.  Used to be lots of corner grocery stores, drug stores, small department stores - all employing cashiers, store managers, soda jerks, etc -- they've diminished in numbers too.      Yet somehow, the world survived the population explosion and women entering the workforce and a more educated population, etc.


Somehow, I think I'll sleep well tonight

WeNeedaRealGovt's picture

"...roads, bridges, tunnels lay railroad track, etc."   

I thought "W" put an end to this type of socialist activity?  

Or did you mean in the countries we invade?  Oh, I get it...nevermind.

Anusocracy's picture

Unfortunately, most of the gains in productivity are appropriated by or negated by government.

The cost of living would be lower if the hoi polloi didn't want government. Considerably lower.

WeAreScrewed's picture

Nothing like 5 redundant, service persons fussing over you at a restaurant.

Supernova Born's picture

Each with a mouth filled with saliva and a grudge.

orez65's picture

Cost of living should decrease as productivity is increased. 

For example, TV's and computers.

Why should a person have to work 40 hours a week to make ends meet?

Why couldn't, if you wish, work 20 hours a week and be able to provide for you and your family?

The reason is because the Government spends more than the economy can produce and the Federal Reserve covers it up by printing non exisiting money.

Spitzer's picture

This is correct.



NihilistZero's picture

Agreed orez65

However always remember to mention .gov does this for one reason and one reason only, to prevent an anarchist utopia from naturally evolving into being.  A world of 20 hour a week employees with healthy physical and mental states could not be ruled, nor pushed to seek the rule of others.

Listen to Howard Stark's speach to his son Tony in Iron Man 2.  His noble and philanthropic, yet clearly libertarian industrialist vision, shits on any John Gault quote I've read.


And because it can't be said enough... Fuck Ayn Rand

HastaLaVictoriaSiempre's picture

.gov spends more than the economy can produce because the voters want more free food, free healthcare, free education, free childcare, generous disability insurance, generous old age pensions, ... and pay the least amount of taxes for all these perks, so that they have as much disposable income as possible to consume other goods and services. There can't be a 20-hour work week because that would mean less consumption, a concept completely alien to Western society.

This is still a republic and the leaders give the citizenry what it wants, so blaming the politicians is only true to a point. Besides, you can still choose to work less and lead a more frugal existence.

ThroxxOfVron's picture

Let's be honest: the point of robots is to do either:

A. Disenfranchise Labor from Production and the fruits of production.   

B. Perform tasks that are deemed to dangerous and/or time consuming for Labor to be wasted on them.


Fukushima is an example that desperately requires sophisticated robots to perform dangerous and time consuming tasks, and yet tens of thousands of robots are being deployed by Foxxcon/Apple in order to disenfranchise Labor from production and the fruits of production.

The performance of vital tasks in dangerous environments to protect the public and Labor is being wholly ignored in favor of maximizing profit on an already wildly profitable enterprise by disenfranchising Labor.

Apparently financial engineering is not the only dangerously antisocial form of engineering.

BigJim's picture

 Let's be honest: the point of robots is to do either:

A. Disenfranchise Labor from Production and the fruits of production. 

How are they being 'disenfranchised' from the fruits of production if they had no hand in that production?

And no one is forcing anyone to buy Apple's (overpriced) products, I might add.

The mass production of these robots will make them cheaper and other manufacturers will use them - the resultant cost will eventually bring the cost of your smartphone down 80%. If you're spending 80% less on a phone you have more money to spend on other goods.

You seem to forget that in the past, it took hundreds of person-hours to make a roll of cloth. As a consequence, cloth was scarce, and people spent half their leisure time darning socks and repairing clothes and freezing to death because they couldn't afford new clothing.

Make something cheaper in a competitive market... everyone benefits. Apart from the redundant workers, obviously.

QQQBall's picture

Woah woah woah. I propose a US robot tax to offset the loss in SS taxes paid by workers. Greater efficiency needs to be taxed.... like a mileage tax on top of a gas tax. Which reminds me, we also need an extra electric car battery tax.  prices may drop, but .gov is so far in debt, their revenues cannot shrink one iota

Omen IV's picture

You are completely missing the point that these machines are replacing very cheap labor to begin with - the end game is no discretionary cash flow to " consume" everywhere!!!!

The financial sector is capturing more $$ than they are relatively at risk for - it will end soon as consumption becomes a very narrow slice of the population - local retail is now rolled up to Amazon all over the USA - same will happen to almost everything

ThroxxOfVron's picture

Ok, BigJim, I'll bite: What happens when ALL workers are redundant workers?

You can borrow at ZIRP/NIRP and fire everyone when your tax-deductable 'bots arrive...

You got supply coming on line awright....; but, about that DEMAND part of the equation?

What market can support itself off of it's management bonuses?

Robots don't purchase goods and services like Joe-PunchClock does...

So, your price comes down 80%.   You will NOT pass on ALL of the savings: so You pass on how much?

Now You have a product that costs 50% of what it did last year; but, YOUR CONSUMER HAS ZERO*


Fuck iPhones: when does fuel or food get CHEAPER?    A-ha!   No such luck, huh?


It's all gonna be fine if the FSA can just kick back and let YOUR robots do every God damend thing for them.

People are insatiable.

You DO NOT want them to have to work for their bread or threads or ride, right?

...So You better build a hella lotta 'bots fast, Bro: We all need dinner and needs new shiz kicks up in here...

Size 11+1/2 for ME.     ...Chop chop, my Robo Nigga!

Double beef patty w/ cheddar, 'shrooms, peppers, and tomato, Homie!   Super Size ME.  

C'mon production: give Us what we want or it's time to call up Obama and Pelosi and Schummer and get You pushed.  5 year plan time and be ON time!

Wild Theories's picture


The mass production of these robots will make them cheaper and other manufacturers will use them - the resultant cost will eventually bring the cost of your smartphone down 80%. If you're spending 80% less on a phone you have more money to spend on other goods.


Wishful thinking. You really think the price of your Iphone is determined by its production costs?

Take a hammer, grab an iphone, smash it apart, look at all the pieces, look at them long and hard, then ask yourself: is all this really what made my phone cost what it did? really? SERIOUSLY?


The cost reduction will be beneficial, for Foxconn and Apple. Consumers will be lucky if they even get 10% of the cost reductions passed on to them.

Abbie Normal's picture

The fruit only pays foxconn about $150 for each finished iphone, and maybe 1/5 of that is for labor.  So a $30 labor savings does not equal any significant price reduction at the retail level.

Pheonyte's picture

I'd be more interested if they were fembots.

Ignorance is bliss's picture

The role of fembots will be played by recently unemployed female workers.

Squid Viscous's picture

bought more AAPL at the close CNBC said this will be the first trillion dollar company, and my mildly retarded step daughter is enamored with her ifone 5 as my monthly Verizon bill can attest to... i'm all in bitches!!

PhilofOz's picture

I must be around the wrong circles then.... everyone I know that were obsessed with ifone two years ago once their contracts with the telcos was up all dumped them in favour of Sony and Sanyo whatevers. Iphones are so uncool now. For one thing they all got fed up with batteries out in 12 hours while their new trinkets are alive for over two days.

logicalman's picture

Who, in their right mind, would pay large amounts of money just to carry a tracking device???

It's beyond my comprehension.


stant's picture

They took our jobs!!

cougar_w's picture

Unless you live in China, no they did not.

Apple hasn't made squat in the US of A for maybe -- what -- 20 years now?

CrazyCooter's picture

I think that was a SouthPark reference to a certain episode ... I am at work so can't dig it up.