Tim Cook ‘deeply offended’ by accusations of labor abuse

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As if Tim Cook doesn't already have enough on his plate!
Tim Cook. Photo: Apple
Photo: Apple

Tim Cook has told Apple employees he’s “deeply offended” by the BBC’s critical documentary Apple’s Broken Promises that investigated working conditions inside Apple’s supply Asian supply chain.

In an email obtained by The Telegraph from Apple VP Jeff Williams to the company’s workers in the UK, Williams said he and Cook are offended by the BBC’s suggestion that Apple broke promises with workers in the supply chain, and that no other company is doing “as much as Apple does to ensure fair and safe working conditions.”

Williams also countered the BBC’s claims that Apple uses tin sourced through child labor in Indonesia, saying Apple is spearheading the movement to hold the tens of thousands of artisanal miners more accountable, rather than getting out of the country altogether.

Tim Cook gives China’s Internet minister a sneak peek at Apple Watch

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Cook welcomes China's Internet Minister to Apple. Photos: China.com.cn
Cook welcomes China's Internet Minister to Apple. Photos: China.com.cn

The minister of the Cyberspace Administration of China got a sneak peek at the Apple Watch during a recent visit to Apple’s Cupertino headquarters. Photos published by a state-owned website show Apple CEO Tim Cook demonstrating the device to Lu Wei, who also stopped by Facebook’s campus to meet Mark Zuckerberg.

Foxconn’s promised iPhone-building robot army is running late

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The Rumor: Foxconn is enlisting an army of robots to help assemble the iPhone 6.
The Verdict: The robo-revolution is here. To speed up iPhone assembly, Foxconn has created 10,000 ‘Foxbots’ that can assemble around 30,000 iPhones each. Robots have been used to help automate the assembly process for years, but this is the biggest investment Foxconn has made yet, with each Foxbot costing  around $20,000 - $25,000 a piece.
Foxconn and Apple will have to wait a bit longer before iPhones can be built entirely by robots. Photo: 20th Century Fox

Foxconn has been working to replace its human workforce with robotic “Foxbots” for some time now, but it seems that a 2011 promise by CEO Terry Gou to unleash an army of production robots by the end of 2014 won’t be coming true after all.

According to the Chinese financial publication Jiemian, Foxconn is facing numerous difficulties building robots capable enough to carry out the kind of precision needed for constructing Apple devices. First and foremost is the fact that the bots are simply too clunky to do the work required of them — primarily because they were designed for automotive work rather than for assembling iPhones.

The current crop of bots reportedly have a production accuracy of 0.05mm, making them a little shy of the 0.02mm accuracy needed to build Apple products.

Rules to live by if you want to be an Apple supplier

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Some of GT Advanced Technology's failed attempts to create sapphire for future iPhones. Photo: WSJ
Some of GT Advanced Technology's failed attempts to create sapphire for future iPhones. Photo: WSJ

Depending on whether or not you can fulfil what is asked of you, being an Apple supplier sounds like it’s either the best or worst experience imaginable.

In the wake of the crashing and burning of Apple’s former sapphire supplier GT Advanced Technologies, some of Cupertino’s other contractors have pitched in with their take; filling the Wall Street Journal in on a few of the lessons they’ve learned along their roller coaster rides with Apple.

The two biggest take-homes? Don’t make promises you can’t keep, and don’t rely too much on Cupertino.

Foxconn to spend $2.6 billion building a factory exclusively for Apple

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Tim Cook meeting an iPhone manufacturer in China.
Tim Cook has a go at assembling an iPhone. Photo: Apple
Photo: Apple

According to a new report from Bloomberg, Foxconn is set to spend $2.6 billion building a new factory in Taiwan exclusively to create displays for Apple.

Equipment installation for the factory is likely to begin next month, with the aim of starting mass production of panels by the end of 2015. The factory will require hiring an addition workforce of 2,300 people, and is going to be built at Innolux’s Kaohsiung Science Park campus in Southern Taiwan.

Foxconn currently has factories in China dedicated to assembling iPhones and iPads, but this will be the company’s first designed entirely with the goal of producing Apple components to go inside the devices.