Foxconn produces 590 new iPhones per hour per line: iPhone XR first

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Although the new iPhone product highlights are lacking, Foxconn employees are still very busy.

Foxconn iPhone Production Lineup
Foxconn iPhone Production Lineup

In September, the Foxconn Park in Zhengzhou ushered in the busiest day. As Apple released three new iPhones, the Apple’s largest assembly plant quickly switched to a brightly lit state.

“This time is very busy,” a person in charge of Foxconn’s Zhengzhou production line told the interface reporter that the end of the conference does not mean the beginning of sales. They need to wait until the predetermined amount before they can distribute the production capacity well. They want to ensure the production yield and efficiency of all new products.

According to a report on the Taiwan Electronic Times website on September 11, the Foxconn Group (known as Honghai Seiko in Taiwan) recently released operational data for August. The company received an operating income of NT$396.8 billion in August. At $12.9 billion, revenue increased by 0.3% from the previous month, but it increased by 25.3% compared with the same period last year.

The Foxconn Group is the world’s largest electronics foundry, and Apple is just one of its largest OEM customers. The data shows that in the three major businesses of the Foxconn Group, the consumer electronics business performed best in August, followed by the communications business and computing business.

At present, there are three new core assembly plants for Apple: Foxconn, Heshuo and Wistron. But Foxconn occupies more than half of the production share. With the large-scale sales of Apple’s newly released mobile phones, the Foxconn Group’s revenue growth will increase in the remaining months of 2018.Foxconn capacity is prioritized for iPhone XR

Foxconn capacity is prioritized for iPhone XR

On September 12, Apple announced three new iPhones: iPhone Xs, iPhone Xs Max and iPhone XR. In the eyes of many people, this conference has almost no highlights. If you just want to find a bright spot, then the price of Apple’s mobile phone has reached a new height.

“Apple has bet on this iPhone XR. They also admit that the more expensive iPhone XS innovation is not a lot. They think that the relatively cheap iPhone XR with similar functions may be more liked by people.” Apple’s Foxconn staff said that in addition, Apple is not satisfied with the sales of the iPhone X last year, so I hope that today’s iPhone XR.

According to data released by market research firm Anaccord Genuity, in the fourth quarter of 2017, Apple captured 87% of the global smartphone industry, while Apple’s iPhone sales accounted for only 17.9% of total sales.

The highlight of this year’s Apple conference is that in addition to the flagship version of the phone, Apple also launched a “people-friendly version” mobile phone, iPhone XR. The new product is made of aluminum alloy frame and is available in six colors: black, white, gold, yellow, blue and red. The screen uses a 6.1-inch Liquid Retina LCD screen, which continues the overall screen design of the iPhone X, but with a reduced screen ratio and resolution. Although the Face ID is added, the iPhone XR does not support 3D Touch, but this machine also supports dual SIM cards in China. In addition, the iPhone XR is also equipped with the latest A12 chip, and also uses the same camera sensor as the iPhone XS, and will provide 64GB, 128GB and 256GB three capacity options.

The iPhone XR starts at $749 (the National Bank version starts at $6,499), its configuration is higher than the iPhone 8 Plus, and the price is more cost-effective. The sales date is expected to be postponed until the end of October.

According to an employee on the iPhone XR production line, Foxconn Zhengzhou Park currently has 27 production lines for the iPhone XR, the most among the three models, the current production line is 93% yield, and the production efficiency is The production line produces 590 mobile phones per hour and the production time is 19 hours per day.

“The current production capacity is not good, the back cover of the iPhone XR is out of stock, because the aluminum frame is easy to fade when it is produced, the back cover supplier is part of Foxconn production, and the part is Changshuo technology production,” said the person said, officially sold in October. Previously, production lines and suppliers had to solve these problems.

Last year, Foxconn Group encountered many difficulties in the production of Apple iPhone X mobile phones, including the low yield of upstream parts suppliers, which led to Apple delaying the release of iPhone X mobile phones, and Foxconn’s performance was also affected. In the October of the peak of Apple’s mobile phone sales, the Foxconn Group’s revenue only increased by 3%.

According to the person in charge of the Foxconn production line, once the initial amount is determined, their line allocation can be switched quickly. Because the production process of these devices is the same, the test software is also ready-made, they only need to replace the assembly equipment.

“We are planning to make all the production lines bet on the iPhone XR. The iPhone XS will only keep 4 lines in Zhengzhou, and there will be 12 in Shenzhen Guanlan. When the quantity is released, it will switch immediately,” said the person in charge of the iPhone XR production line.

1200 workers per line

Foxconn wanted to use the “Million Robotics Program” to solve the rising labor costs of Chinese factories, but from the current situation, this plan is still in the foreseeable future.

“Now there are more than 1,200 workers on each production line, and the number of production line workers has not decreased, but it is increasing every year.” Foxburg’s production line official said that although automation equipment is also popular in the production line, because the iPhone is getting more and more Complex, so more and more manpower is needed.

He added that the assembly test can be used for automation, including face recognition modules, which are also done by machine. But in the process of screwing, checking and cleaning, it is still highly dependent on labor. At present, automation equipment can only complete 30-40% of the entire assembly process, and it is difficult to exceed 50%.

“There is no way, the machine of the automation equipment is too big to plug into the mobile phone, let alone carry out the refinement operation,” said the person.

The “Million Robot Project” was first proposed by Foxconn Group CEO Guo Taiming in 2011. He once claimed to assemble 1 million robotic arms in 2014 and saw the first fully automated factories in 5 to 10 years. Guo Taiming has made it clear that “the Foxconn robot program has entered the final test phase, and the robot named Foxbots will be used first in the production of a new generation of Apple mobile phones.

But from the latest iPhone, the craftsmanship and complexity make it difficult to get rid of the workers’ hands, but at the same time, the rising labor costs make Foxconn a headache.

“Now Foxconn is a dispatched employee. It usually works for 55 days. Every month, plus the company’s return fee, you can get more than 10,000 yuan. This kind of salary can attract workers,” said the Foxconn production line official. So this year we have a lot of effort, we have to screw the machine.

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