Hon Hai Precision Industry, also known as Foxconn Technology Group, counts Apple as its key client. Foxconn assembles iPhones and their Apple contract accounts for more than half of the Taiwanese company’s earnings. Yesterday, Foxconn reported both its highest-ever holiday quarter net profit and highest-ever gross margin since first-quarter 2013.
Gross margin of 8.44 percent for the fourth quarter of 2016 represents Foxconn’s highest quarterly figure since first-quarter 2013. The contract manufacturer attributed the results that will make their investors happy to strong shipments “for main clients’ new products”, which increased significantly in the fourth quarter.
Foxconn most likely owes much of its profitable quarter to robust demand for iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus during the lucrative holiday shopping season.
The company added that production efficiency was on the rise due to more automated production. Over the paste few years, Foxconn’s been pouring some serious money into sophisticated work stations to automate the tasks that assembly line employees are unwilling to do and other work that may be too dangerous for human labor.
Source: Foxconn, compiled by DigiTimes, April 2017
By May 2016, Foxbots had replaced as many as 60,000 factory workers.
In December 2016, DigiTimes reported that Foxconn had ten fully automated production lines in its manufacturing facilities in China, including a CNC line in Foxconn’s huge manufacturing facility in the city of Zhengzhou, referred to by the locals as “iPhone City”.
The company is among the bidders for Toshiba’s lucrative memory chips business. Over the past few months, Apple’s favorite iPhone manufacturer’s been considering building a $7 billion display plant in the United States, also highly automated.
In January 2017, Apple announced it had partnered with Foxconn on a new research and development facility in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, to be used for building prototypes of upcoming products. The new facility will be located next to Apple’s upcoming research and development center in Shenzhen.