updated 11:50 am EST, Thu November 8, 2012
Plants not expected to build Apple hardware
Foxconn is considering establishing its first manufacturing plants in the US, according to "market watchers" cited by DigiTimes. Locations in cities like Detroit and Los Angeles are currently said to be under evaluation. Foxconn is based in based in Taiwan, and does most of its manufacturing in China, exploiting the cheap labor costs there.
Although Foxconn is Apple's main manufacturing partner, and Apple CEO Tim Cook has expressed interest in bringing manufacturing back to the US, DigiTimes' sources argue that any American plants will probably focus on building LCD TVs instead of Apple products. Building Apple devices is said to be complicated, whereas assembling TVs can be relatively easy and mostly automated.
Foxconn chairman Terry Guo recently stated that the company is working on a training program for US engineers, with the goal of bringing them to China or Taiwan to help in both manufacturing and product design. While overseas, the engineers could learn Chinese and get experience in the manufacturing process. Foxconn is already in talks with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Gou commented.