Apple manufacturer Foxconn to replace staff with robots

Foxconn, the Taiwanese manufacturer who has, until recently, built a vast number of Apple's iPhone and iPad products, is to replace some of its workers with 1 million robots in the next 3 years.

Terry Gou, founder and chairman, announced that the robots will manage simple, everyday tasks such as spraying, welding and assembling and the move is to improve efficiency and cut rising labour costs.

And cheerfully, he announced this at a workers' dance party. That they'd lose their jobs. At a dance party. Where they were, presumably, enjoying themselves. Dancing.

Foxconn presently employs 10,000 robots, but wants to increase this to 300,000 in 2012, 1 million by 2014.

It has also been, reportedly, rocked by the news that Apple has awarded its iPad 3 contract to rival Taiwanese manufacturer Pegatron - which, ironically, sounds more like the name of a robot (a Transformer). Perhaps the loss of such a large order has prompted Foxconn to act.

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