Google Docs goes full-size on Apple iPad, Foxconn hits 1M employees

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014
Google this week launched a full-size version of its cloud-based productivity suite, Google Docs, for iPad. Also, Apple's overseas manufacturing partner Foxconn revealed it now has more than a million employees.



Google Docs on iPad



Google Docs now has full desktop support on the iPad, allowing more options for style edits like changing a font, or center aligning a paragraph. Previously, iPad users were forced to use the mobile version of Google Docs, which has more limited functionality.



The full desktop version also allows users to insert formulas into a spreadsheet, which grants them access to the editable formula bar.



"Of course, mobile and even tablet browsers are still not as powerful as their desktop counterparts, which is why we recently launched the mobile-optimized version of the Google documents editor for the iPad," Google software engineer Peter Solderitsch wrote on the company's official blog.



"But we figured for one-off times when you need to make an advanced change, that Desktop link might be just what you're looking for."







Google this week also launched its "instant" search for iOS devices in 40 new countries worldwide. Instant is now available for iOS 4 devices in 28 different languages by visiting google.com and tapping the "Google Instant" link to activate it.



Foxconn tops 1 million employees



Foxconn, the overseas assembler of Apple's electronic devices, announced this week that its workforce now exceeds 1 million employees. And with growing consumer demand, the employer plans to add even more workers during the holiday season.



According to Bloomberg, Foxconn is the larget private employer in China. The company plans to expand its workforce to as many as 1.3 million by the end of 2011.



Apple's relationship with Foxconn has repeatedly come under fire, with allegations of low wages and poor working conditions tied to the manufacturer. This November, employees staged a protest over wages.



Earlier this year, Apple was compelled to make a public statement after a rash of suicides occurred at the company's main plant in in the southern city of Shenzhen. However, Chief Executive Steve Jobs later noted that the suicide rate at the company's massive plant of more than 300,000 workers was below the population average in China.



Foxconn said it has increased monthly wages for workers by about 30 percent to 1,200 yuan after the suicides gained publicity, and promised another raise to 2,000 yuan for 85 percent of the company's front-line assembly workers.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 24
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,868member
    Apple's influence in China must be quite considerable one would think. I do worry Apple has all its manufacturing eggs in one basket though. I wonder what became of the Brazilian offer for manufacturing there? Yes I wish some Apple manufacturing could be brought home too.
  • Reply 2 of 24
    So I need to press Shift in order not to type in Caps?
  • Reply 3 of 24
    malaxmalax Posts: 1,598member
    Wow. They are probably the biggest private employer in the world, not just China. A few armies are bigger, but otherwise they right up with there with the largest organizations in the world. Mind boggling.
  • Reply 4 of 24
    Walmart 1.8 million, McDonald's 447,000, UPS 407,000

    If they really increase wages by 67%, I would think that could cause a spurt in local inflation.
  • Reply 5 of 24
    When they get that big wage increase to 2,000 Yuan PER MONTH, realize that is a whopping $300 per month (or $75 per week). Assuming they work 50 hours per week (you know the week in China is going to be longer then 40 hours), that is a whopping $1.50 per hour.
  • Reply 6 of 24
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


    Apple's influence in China must be quite considerable one would think. I do worry Apple has all its manufacturing eggs in one basket though. I wonder what became of the Brazilian offer for manufacturing there? Yes I wish some Apple manufacturing could be brought home too.



    I don't know about that. 1Mn Foxconn employees (who will be making a lot more than just Apple stuff) from a population of 1Bn Chinese means the Communist rulers won't be bowing to Apple just yet!!!
  • Reply 7 of 24
    malaxmalax Posts: 1,598member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by brianloftus View Post


    Walmart 1.8 million, McDonald's 447,000, UPS 407,000

    If they really increase wages by 67%, I would think that could cause a spurt in local inflation.



    Thanks for the comparison data. I think it's notworthy that the largest companies in the US and the only one that in the same ballpark as Foxconn are service companies. The largest manufacturer in the US is IBM or General Motors in the 300K range (IBM is more of a hybrid consulting firm/manufacturer now). So Foxconn is big as the 3 largest US manufacturers combined. In that regard perhaps Foxconn is the GM of the 21st century? Hmm.



    (OK, I should be more careful. Clearly GM and Foxconn are very, very different. At least as far as their relationship to Apple (their biggest partner I assume), Foxconn doesn't design or market the products they make. But in the same way that GM was the prototypical early 20th century industrial giant, Foxconn may be playing that role in the early 21st century.
  • Reply 8 of 24
    rhyderhyde Posts: 294member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by brianloftus View Post


    Walmart 1.8 million, McDonald's 447,000, UPS 407,000

    If they really increase wages by 67%, I would think that could cause a spurt in local inflation.



    Sorta like Henry Ford's theory. Now they can afford to buy the products they build. :-)
  • Reply 9 of 24
    By that line of reasoning, Samsung, who own 20% of Korean exports and have ties in every single business in this country ostensibly employ at least 1 million, if not 5x that in Korea alone. Factor in their shipping business, their construction business, their hotel business, their apartment business, their car business, and Foxconn looks very small indeed.



    However, as an almost all-in-one manufacturer who resides in a small space, foxconn are untoppable, even by Korea's biggest regime.
  • Reply 10 of 24
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,387member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


    Apple's influence in China must be quite considerable one would think. I do worry Apple has all its manufacturing eggs in one basket though. I wonder what became of the Brazilian offer for manufacturing there? Yes I wish some Apple manufacturing could be brought home too.



    The only way Apple manufacturing is "coming home" is if consumers were willing to pay far more for products. Even at minimum wage, labor costs here are at least 5x that of China. The question is how much of Apple's cost for a product is labor? But I suspect that prices would have to at least double, maybe triple, if Apple were to maintain the same margins. Would you be willing to pay that price to insure manufacturing jobs in the U.S.?



    I think we've been spoiled by low prices. I see that DVD players are now selling for $39 and that Blu-ray players, which were $1000 just a few years ago are now selling for as little as $99. That's completely absurd IMO considering the technology involved. Considering design, manufacturing, marketing, distribution and retail sales, how can anyone in the chain make money when the end price is $39? (or even $99)?



    In an ideal world, products would be manufactured near the markets that they're sold into. That way workers would benefit from the local sale of the products and there would be less environmental impact because products would not have to be shipped around the world.



    I think the case Apple would make is that even though they don't have manufacturing jobs in the U.S., the fact they can offer products for "reasonable" prices has grown the company and grown employment of better level jobs at their offices and in their retail stores around the world. Apple's acquisition of land in Cupertino certainly indicates that they greatly plan to increase the number of employees there and presumably, those are mostly all decent, good-paying jobs.
  • Reply 11 of 24
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Masteric View Post


    When they get that big wage increase to 2,000 Yuan PER MONTH, realize that is a whopping $300 per month (or $75 per week). Assuming they work 50 hours per week (you know the week in China is going to be longer then 40 hours), that is a whopping $1.50 per hour.



    Which happens to be a very attractive wage in China.
  • Reply 12 of 24
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,195moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Appleinsider


    Foxconn hits 1M employees



    And so the worker mistreatment continues.



    I wonder what fraction of the workforce are management. In Western countries there tend to be a lot of middle-management staff and productivity naturally is pretty low because they don't really do any real product-making work.
  • Reply 13 of 24
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


    Which happens to be a very attractive wage in China.



    It is really apples to oranges when you compare their pay versus ours....
  • Reply 14 of 24
    rainrain Posts: 538member
    Give it another year or so (when everyone's employment insurance runs out), millions more unemployed, and you will see Americans willing to work for close to what Chinese workers are now.

    Average Americans will be fighting over jobs that illegal immigrants fill now.

    When desperation sets in, pride takes a back seat.



    The question isn't 'if' Apple moves it's manufacturing back to the USA, but 'when'.

    America is going to have to start over. The entire population can't sit back and collect money from the market. Production will have to come home at some point for Henry Fords economics to re-engage.



    America as a whole (economically), is not sustainable. Nobody disputes that.

    14 Trillion in debt... common....



    *At some point (when unemployment hits over 30%), the government will have no choice but to give corporations incentives for moving manufacturing home.
  • Reply 15 of 24
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Masteric View Post


    When they get that big wage increase to 2,000 Yuan PER MONTH, realize that is a whopping $300 per month (or $75 per week). Assuming they work 50 hours per week (you know the week in China is going to be longer then 40 hours), that is a whopping $1.50 per hour.



    It's all relative. Sarcastically calling it a "whopping $1.50 per hour" while in-country it actually IS a considerable amount proves only that you fail to take into account the value of the local currency.
  • Reply 16 of 24
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    And so the worker mistreatment continues.



    I wonder what fraction of the workforce are management. In Western countries there tend to be a lot of middle-management staff and productivity naturally is pretty low because they don't really do any real product-making work.



    Believe it or not, there are many workers and managers in China who live permanently in the US. They travel to China for work.
  • Reply 17 of 24
    Why are these two fairly disparate subjects mashed together? Not hatin' just sayin'



    In any case... Just tried it, at least through Google Apps Google Docs Spreadsheet is still more or less useless on my iPad. I have a large spreadsheet of say 30 columns and 100 rows, no calculations, just text (list of names and numbers for several different training classes in a month), and it is just too slow and laggy to be useful on the go, other than viewing... Even then it's laggy. Would it be better on Android tablets with 512MB RAM? Maybe, but I doubt it at this stage.



    That said, Google Spreadsheets is the only solution to this particular document. iWork.com should have something like Google Docs, imagine it being smooth and fast on iDevices.



    The trick is an improved iWork.com could have everything accessed through iWork on an iPad or iPhone, but the back-end cloud communication would allow true concurrent collaborative editing. If you are looking at it through a web browser, you can only view, not edit, like at the moment. North Carolina bring it on...!
  • Reply 18 of 24
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Masteric View Post


    When they get that big wage increase to 2,000 Yuan PER MONTH, realize that is a whopping $300 per month (or $75 per week). Assuming they work 50 hours per week (you know the week in China is going to be longer then 40 hours), that is a whopping $1.50 per hour.



    Welcome to Asia. Home of low wages, long abusive work hours, and low-value currency. I'm not talking just about China. Here in Malaysia most of the urban population lives on $250 to $750 USD a month, with the average work week around at least 50 hours a week. Which all equates to a craptastic USD $2 - $4 per hour. Factor in simple Japanese cars cost USD $25,000 and decent apartments start from USD $100,000, you do the math.



    The irony of it all is that most of the manufacturing that would have been done in South East Asia, South/Central America, etc. has all gone to China anyway, in most of the developing countries wages are low but not low enough nor is the working population at a level that can come anywhere close to competing with China.
  • Reply 19 of 24
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post


    I don't know about that. 1Mn Foxconn employees (who will be making a lot more than just Apple stuff) from a population of 1Bn Chinese means the Communist rulers won't be bowing to Apple just yet!!!



    Oh, I'm sure if push comes to shove the Chinese government ain't going to give Apple any special treatment. Except everyone that matters in the Chinese administration probably already has an enjoys their iPhone, iPad, etc. so they're partial, I would say.
  • Reply 20 of 24
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    1 million employees, lol. I wonder how they manage such a large workforce? Hierarchy and delegation, like everything else I guess.



    Still, computer designs are getting simpler every year, e.g. unibody construction, loss of optical drive, GPU embedded in the CPU. Pretty soon they will be simple enough to be assembled by dumb old robots, then these poor folks will need some other mind numbing labour to earn their crust.
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