Foxconn Robots Called Foxbots to Build iPhone 6
Employees in one of Foxconn's Chinese factories could soon be replaced by robots called FoxbotsReuters

Rumours about the design, size and features of the iPhone 6 have been clogging up headlines for the six months or more, but one thing we haven't heard about until now is how Apple's next generation of smartphone will be built.

Foxconn - Apple's long-time manufacturing partner for its smartphones and tablets - announced at its annual shareholder meeting that it is ready to roll out a new robot assembly line which will automate the production process.

Terry Gou, CEO of Hon Hai (parent company of Foxconn) told the 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.


Gou said the robot assembly line was entering its final testing phase adding that the so-called 'Foxbots' - not to be confused with Fembots - would be responsible for making 30,000 smartphones each.

The deployment of Foxbots was first announced by Hon Hai in August 2011, with the company saying it would have one million robots up-and-running in its factories within three years.

Each of the robots are said to cost between $20,000-$25,000 (£11,700-£14,600) with Gou saying that they would not be selling any of the automated machines as they didn't have enough to meet its own demand.

It is unclear what stages of the manufacturing process the robots will be capable of carrying out, with reports back in 2012 suggesting that all they were good for was "lifting, selecting and placement."

Considering how complex the manufacturing process of the iPhone 6 is likely to be, there will still be huge demand for human workers at Foxconn's factories.

Indeed, just last month there were widespread reports that Foxconn had hired up to 100,000 workers in advance of iPhone 6 manufacturing beginning this month.