iPhone 5 battery replacement process (iFixit 001)

DigiTimes, the hit and miss Taiwanese trade publication, is reporting this morning that Apple is moving from labor-intensive iPhone battery production to fully automated production lines in 2014. The move is said to stem from Apple’s desire to reduce its manpower demand and is expected to prompt other consumer electronics vendors to follow suit, as per supply chain chatter…

DigiTimes writes:

With automated production lines, Apple will be able to move manufacturing to wherever it likes; however, since most of its other component supply partners are still located in China, the US-based vendor is unlikely to make any significant moves in the short term, the sources added.

Apple and other vendors are said to face labor shortages and high turnover rates because young people are increasingly unwilling to take manufacturing jobs due to low wages and very long hours.

Besides, minimum wages in China are on the rise, adding up to increased costs.

DigiTimes reminds us that Apple previously automated Mac Pro and iMac production lines, adding that “other than materials and final assembly, manpower is not required for the rest of the manufacturing.”

The news is interesting in light of Foxconn’s ongoing efforts to replace workers with about a million robots to take over some of the labor-intensive assembly work.

The three-year initiative, however, has hit roadblocks due to high costs: each robot costs an estimated $20,000-$25,000 to produce. Foxconn’s plan could receive a boost from no other than Google, whose Andy Rubin recently met with Foxconn founder, CEO and Chairman to discuss speeding up robot deployment at Foxconn’s plants.

These machines would run Google’s upcoming robotic operating system for manufacturers and the two firms are said to have been collaborating since 2014 to carry out Google’s vision for robotics in manufacturing.

Foxconn, also known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., is the world’s #1 contract manufacturer and Apple’s preferred partner (alongside Pegatron) that assembles iPhones, iPads and its other products.

Image top of post via iFixit.

  • Lady GAGA

    iphone 6 … You’re looking more and more adorable .

    • Butch Danes

      or the iPhone 6S is looking more and more adorable. Whatever they don’t do for the next iPhone, they will most likely do for the refresh.

      • Lady GAGA

        Owa owaaaaa ooh owa owaaaa oha

  • on3simpleclick

    I hope that automated battery production, is for larger capacity batteries. -.-

  • abdullah575

    no more battery tips !

  • Qasim

    It will increase risks of faulty batteries or battery assembly

    • on3simpleclick

      It could, but.. factories filled with robots, are more precise than humans.

      • Qasim

        The end product to the consumers might be perfectly fine but wastages in the production lines would increase. I would get my things made by a skilled human rather than a preprogramed robot.

      • Anonomous.TECH.man

        Ya but Chinese labor isn’t skilled.

      • on3simpleclick

        I would disagree. China has some of the most skilled workers in the world. Maybe not at the bottom, on the factory floors, but higher up the chain, they have some damn smart & highly skilled people.

      • Anonomous.TECH.man

        Yes that is true just look at oppo and xinomi phones.

      • Chun-Li aka ThunderThighs

        Lie. Look what happen to the ps4 on launch day when touch by “human skilled ” employees

      • on3simpleclick

        I agree, I would rather a skilled person manufacturing the devices I’m used, but I can’t image there being to much wastage in the process of making soft polymer batteries. There isn’t much to them, just a plastic casing & the actual battery material.

  • mav3rick

    Build with Samsung screens, Samsung produced CPU, by Google robotics…

    • Anonomous.TECH.man

      They stopped using samsung displays sense iphone 5. Sammy boy.

      • mav3rick

        Currently the iDevices displays comes from LG, Samsung, Sharp and AU Optronics, with the latest 2 started to fall from the supply chain. Samsung also will take over their production slot, iSheep.

      • Anonomous.TECH.man

        AU optronics only supplied the ipad mini screen. You also left off japan display supplies iphone 5/5s display along with lg and sharp. Samsung will not return to supplying LCD panels, dip shit.

    • jzack

      yet still samsung were not able to follow up with apple’s device performance

      • mav3rick

        See below. Samsung still making one of the best displays. Fact. Search for what owners of Macbooks with non Samsung screens are saying…

      • jzack

        yep agreed with the screen thingy.. if i were to buy tv or screen monitors id prefer samsung’s.. however they are not good on the other side of their products such as sound system (built-in with tv/ monitors) , and even hardware optimization issues.

  • sailesh

    Awesome!
    No more fault batteries.
    Apple is meant for perfection..

  • iDude

    they should’ve invested in perfecting the battery technology first before they move on to automated manufacturing. I’m hoping some day that my idevices could last at least 3 days on heavy usage.