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Apple looking to fully automate iPhone battery production, rumor says
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MacNN Staff
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Mar 24, 2014, 09:41 AM
 
Apple is working to get iPhone batteries manufactured on fully automated production lines in 2014, supply chain sources claim. The company is already said to have mostly automated iMac and Mac Pro production, the only exceptions being materials and final assembly. Apple is allegedly interested in reducing the manpower needed for its products; this may be due to rising minimum wages in China, and problems like labor shortages and high turnover rates, linked to the fact that many young people don't want to work in manufacturing. Such jobs can often demand 60 or more hours a week in poor conditions.

The sources comment that although automation could allow Apple to move manufacturing wherever it wants, most of its component suppliers are still in and around China, which may keep it tethered to the region. At the moment, the only Apple product manufactured in the US is the Mac Pro, which is assembled in Austin, Texas.
     
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Mar 24, 2014, 12:01 PM
 
Alternatively, the episodic or surge nature of the product cycles do not lend themselves to human staffing. That is, rapid ramp ups and gradual tapering off in prep for next surge. Machines do this well people not so much, whether manufacturing being fun and well paid or not.

Finally, there may be improved and consistent quality that is hard for people to sustain. People contribute best in non-repetitive jobs that require some thinking.

Note, all the perjorative language missing regarding implied Apple sweat shops, but that doesn't sell as well.
     
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Mar 24, 2014, 08:39 PM
 
I guess all this "bringing jobs to the U.S." was a bunch of crap.
     
   
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