Apple is moving toward automating iPhone battery production later this year, to reduce its reliance on manpower, reports Digitimes. The move could allow the iPhone maker to move manufacturing wherever it likes, but since a big chunk of its supply chain partners are based in China, this won’t happen anytime soon, the rumour claims.
Apple has already automated its Mac Pro and iMac production lines. Other than materials and final assembly, manpower is not required for the rest of the manufacturing.
The automation is said to be due to rising minimum wages in China, and the fact that younger workers aren’t willing to work in the manufacturing industry, which has caused labour shortages that in turn have increased costs, Digitimes says.
Apple’s next-generation iPhone will likely be unveiled this fall. Supply chain partners are already gearing up for the iPhone 6, with Pegatron, the assembler of the iPhone and iPad, recruiting workers for the new factory space. Also, Apple is said to be following last year’s pattern and releasing two new iPhone models, one with a 4.7-inch display, and the second with a 5.5–5.7-inch display.
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