While Apple’s iPads are currently assembled in the Foxconn factories in China, by September the devices will also be produced in Brazil. The country’s Minister of Science and Technology, Aloízio Mercadante, has revealed that Foxconn’s new plant in the Brazilian city of Jundiai was initially scheduled to begin production of Apple’s tablet in late July, but due to “construction glitches” and a shortage of skilled workers, that date has had to be pushed back.
Foxconn now has 175 engineers set to work in the plant, who have been sent to China for training. However, the company will require over 200 to get things moving. When the factory does open its doors, Brazilians can expect the iPad to be around 40% cheaper for consumers than the model currently imported from China…
Brazil has pricey import tariffs which means the cost of some consumer electronics is sometimes doubled. By manufacturing the device locally, Brazilians can enjoy a significantly cheaper device by the end of the year. One Brazilian official has declared that the new factory will produce as many as six million iPad units and generate four to five thousand new jobs by the time it reaches full capacity — which is expected in three to four years.
In order to encourage its growth, Foxconn is said to be considering a $12 billion investment into the new Brazilian facilities, for which it has sent a list of requirements to officials as part of the negotiations. The list includes requests for financial support from the Brazilian National Development Bank and government help in finding investors.
The move will hopefully mean that for future iPad releases, manufacturing shortages won’t be such a problem, and the waiting list to get our hands on the devices will be significantly shorter.