Apple and Foxconn weighing $7 billion display plant in U.S., report says

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2017
Apple's main manufacturing partner, Foxconn, is considering the possibility of a $7 billion joint investment in an automated display production facility in the U.S., the latter company's chairman said on Sunday.




"Apple is willing to invest in the facility together because they need the [panels] as well," Terry Gou told the press following a year-end party in Taiwan, according to Nikkei. The proposed facility, first rumored earlier this month, would allegedly create between 30,000 and 50,000 jobs.

Although U.S. electronics manufacturing is typically more expensive -- due to currency values, and higher labor and operational costs -- Gou claimed that growing demand for bigger display panels makes U.S. production a better option than importing parts from China.

Foxconn is also said to be planning a new molding plant in the U.S., with Pennsylvania being a possible target in the wake of investment talks with the state. In fact, a representative from Pennsylvania's trade office is said to have attended Sunday's party.

The decision to increase U.S. manufacturing is potentially a response to President Donald Trump, who campaigned on a promise of growing domestic jobs, and has threatened to renegotiate NAFTA as well as make it expensive to import Chinese goods. Gou noted that a Canadian interactive display company, Smart Technologies, could be relocated to the U.S. because of Trump's NAFTA plans.

He urged the U.S. government to offer concessions on land and electricity to encourage manufacturing, warning that products could otherwise become unaffordably expensive.

"In the future they [shoppers] may be paying some $500 more for products, but those do not necessarily work better than a $300 phone," he said.

Trump has claimed that Apple CEO Tim Cook could bring iPhone manufacturing to the U.S., perhaps lured by the promised of a "very large tax cut" for relocating jobs. In November Nikkei said that Apple had asked Foxconn to consider the possibility.

Gou commented however that Foxconn will continue expanding in China. One such effort is believed to be an Apple prototype facility located in Shenzhen.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 58
    The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • Reply 2 of 58
    $7B in Robots.

    Nothing to get excited over.

    macxpressfrankiebrakkenzoetmb
  • Reply 3 of 58
    If they're going to depend on robots, I guess they'll locate it in a red state.
  • Reply 4 of 58
    bobroo said:
    $7B in Robots.

    Nothing to get excited over.

    You must have missed the "30,000 - 50,000" jobs thing.
    patchythepirate
  • Reply 5 of 58
    bobroo said:
    $7B in Robots.

    Nothing to get excited over.

    You must have missed the "30,000 - 50,000" jobs thing.


    I'm not able to reconcile the 2 bits of information. Automated manufacturing means less human intervention. How exactly are the 30-50k jobs being created? You don't need that many people to manage the automation plant. Are these permanent jobs or temporary work contracts for installing and setting up the automation plant?

    I can't imagine a scale of manufacturing that uses automation and needs 50k jobs. I'm definitely missing something here.

    Deelronmdriftmeyermdriftmeyerargonautfrankiefirelockafrodribrakkenjmwallace74
  • Reply 6 of 58
    safi said:
    Unfortunately the US has screwed itself because of it's education system. You go to a Ph.D program and pretty much 80-90% of the PhD candidates are foreign born. Americans are getting degrees in psychology and sociology instead of STEM creating a huge opportunity for foreign workers especially foreign Software Engineers. 

    You hit the problem on the head Safi.  Steve Jobs made it clear, that contrary to popular understanding,  the greatest impediment to moving production to the US was the shortage of engineers (not just software BTW, there are many other engineering jobs necessary to run a heavily automated plant).  This is an opportunity with the new administration to shift back towards a training and education model focused on meeting job demand, rather than funding each persons "self-discovery."   Indeed, most of these type of engineering jobs won't require Phd, or even traditional 4 year schools.  Let the revolution begin.  

    PS,  it is wonderful to hear that there is so much discussion of creating good paying jobs in the tech and other industries.  Previous administrations of both parties had given up on this, so kudos to a fresh start and innovative thinking.
    monstrositymwhiteravnorodompte applepatchythepiratejmwallace74
  • Reply 7 of 58
    A $7B manufacturing plant doesn't happen in a month. If this is even true it most likely was already in the works. NBC had a story about companies recycling old news to get positive press.
    frankieafrodri
  • Reply 8 of 58
    netroxnetrox Posts: 820member
    Just watch people whine about major corporations like Apple getting MAJOR tax breaks for moving their businesses here and we'll quickly learn it won't be good for us.
    calimonstrosity
  • Reply 9 of 58
    I'd rather the $7B be invested here, it benefits us all.  And if we have to give our companies tax breaks like others do so that we can alleviate product dumping...fine.  That seems to be the problem with us, we're so righteous and try and play by the "rules" of the free market except we live in a world that does the opposite and we wonder why we lose.  We need to get over ourselves. 

    mwhitepte apple
  • Reply 10 of 58
    Engineering is a HARD subject. Kids today mostly want instant gratification. Even my grandkids are really not interested in STEM despite my attempts to get them interested. They were far more interested in playing computer games. Asking them where the tech they are using came from and who designed it just seemed to go over their heads. They know it all comes from China and Japan.

    Then I got them a visit to a high tech race car builder. They have a different opinion now. There is hope yet.

    But this is not a new thing. As a now retired Engineer I know that I had to work a lot harder than my roommates who were doing SOFT subjects (Business Studies, English History) and this was in the mid 1970's.

    I'm still tinkering with machines. The new Full size Steam Loco that I'm helping to build should steam for the first time this year.

    argonautslprescottMacPro2old4funpte applepatchythepirateafrodribrakken
  • Reply 11 of 58
    Notsofast said:
    safi said:
    Unfortunately the US has screwed itself because of it's education system. You go to a Ph.D program and pretty much 80-90% of the PhD candidates are foreign born. Americans are getting degrees in psychology and sociology instead of STEM creating a huge opportunity for foreign workers especially foreign Software Engineers. 

    You hit the problem on the head Safi.  Steve Jobs made it clear, that contrary to popular understanding,  the greatest impediment to moving production to the US was the shortage of engineers (not just software BTW, there are many other engineering jobs necessary to run a heavily automated plant).  This is an opportunity with the new administration to shift back towards a training and education model focused on meeting job demand, rather than funding each persons "self-discovery."   Indeed, most of these type of engineering jobs won't require Phd, or even traditional 4 year schools.  Let the revolution begin.  

    PS,  it is wonderful to hear that there is so much discussion of creating good paying jobs in the tech and other industries.  Previous administrations of both parties had given up on this, so kudos to a fresh start and innovative thinking.
    Agreed, the lack of qualified people is the biggest problem in the US. I guess Trump's focus on more vocational/technical skills type education would be a good first step.
    gatorguypte apple
  • Reply 12 of 58
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,979member
    Engineering is a HARD subject. Kids today mostly want instant gratification. Even my grandkids are really not interested in STEM despite my attempts to get them interested. They were far more interested in playing computer games. Asking them where the tech they are using came from and who designed it just seemed to go over their heads. They know it all comes from China and Japan.

    Then I got them a visit to a high tech race car builder. They have a different opinion now. There is hope yet.

    But this is not a new thing. As a now retired Engineer I know that I had to work a lot harder than my roommates who were doing SOFT subjects (Business Studies, English History) and this was in the mid 1970's.

    I'm still tinkering with machines. The new Full size Steam Loco that I'm helping to build should steam for the first time this year.

    I was intrigued by the locomotive. I did a search, and the only one that looks close to operation is a P2. I that what you are referring to?
  • Reply 13 of 58
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,784member
    Engineering is a HARD subject. Kids today mostly want instant gratification. Even my grandkids are really not interested in STEM despite my attempts to get them interested. They were far more interested in playing computer games. Asking them where the tech they are using came from and who designed it just seemed to go over their heads. They know it all comes from China and Japan.

    Then I got them a visit to a high tech race car builder. They have a different opinion now. There is hope yet.

    But this is not a new thing. As a now retired Engineer I know that I had to work a lot harder than my roommates who were doing SOFT subjects (Business Studies, English History) and this was in the mid 1970's.

    I'm still tinkering with machines. The new Full size Steam Loco that I'm helping to build should steam for the first time this year.

    Post a few pics when you're done.
    pte apple
  • Reply 14 of 58
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,521member
    The idea of Foxconn making large panels in the US was discussed here on AI about three or four years ago. I remember the story was covered in a such a way that it made transportation cost savings seem to be a main feature of the vaguely described idea.

    At the time, I connected the subject with Foxconn and Apple's large investments in Sharp's IGZO technology, but I don't remember if I commented on that angle at the time. I'm not the one to do a competent search for this story in the AI archives, but I'm pretty sure it's there. I also associated the story with Gene Munster's mythical Apple-branded TV set, but doubt I said anything about that, since that idea had become a subject of ridicule from the beginning.

    Anyway, attributing this development to Trump's intervention is very dangerous, because it ignores the real history of the technological and economic forces that are behind Terry Gou's and presumably Tim Cook's thinking. They've been looking ahead toward building large oxide displays and maybe smaller oxide-backed OLED displays for many years, possibly in the US, and possibly since their first investments in Sharp in 2012.

    What's new is that they can now use their old plans as bones to throw to the simple-minded, America-first, capitalist running dogs, as Mao used to call them. I hate to see this kind of pandering, which Trump will be able seize on for self-aggrandisement, and once again no one will know the real more interesting story. That will be buried in political posturing.
    edited January 2017 pte appleroundaboutnow
  • Reply 15 of 58
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,521member
    A $7B manufacturing plant doesn't happen in a month. If this is even true it most likely was already in the works. NBC had a story about companies recycling old news to get positive press.
    Exactly, re my vague post above. 

    How would I search for that NBC story, by the way?
    edited January 2017
  • Reply 16 of 58
    hmmhmm Posts: 3,405member
    safi said:
    Unfortunately the US has screwed itself because of it's education system. You go to a Ph.D program and pretty much 80-90% of the PhD candidates are foreign born. Americans are getting degrees in psychology and sociology instead of STEM creating a huge opportunity for foreign workers especially foreign Software Engineers. 
    A phd prepares you to work in academia or a research lab. Given the poor job market and outlook in these areas, fewer US students apply. Foreigners often use graduate school in the US as a means of immigration, although it has some obvious limitations. You shouldn't need a Phd to work as a software engineer.


    mdriftmeyerargonautpte apple
  • Reply 17 of 58
    I think the entire phone could be put together with 100% automation.  It would save on shipping the phones across the ocean. 
  • Reply 18 of 58
    taniwhataniwha Posts: 347member
    smith54 said:
    I think the entire phone could be put together with 100% automation.  It would save on shipping the phones across the ocean. 
    That seems to assume that the only market for the toys is in the USA. I seem to recall that about 60% are actually sold outside of the USA, I wonder if it makes sense to sacrifice this market to satisfy your rather intellectually challenged new POTUS for a few years ? For the external markets "Made in USA" is more of a problem than an advantage. It will be interesting to see how this plays out over the long term. 

    Actually, after a quick look around here at home I can't find a single item that I have that is "made in USA" .. in manufactured goods the US simply doesn't have anything to offer that is both interesting and competitive. 
    singularitypte apple
  • Reply 19 of 58
    There are a frack ton of Engineers and Scientists that are American born. You aren't one or you'd goddamn well know that. Most of us have decided after being in this pissant industry that our skills transfer to other interests. There isn't a lack of engineering talent in this country. Most of us just aren't that interested in the actual areas of growth and focus.
  • Reply 20 of 58
    Notsofast said:
    safi said:
    Unfortunately the US has screwed itself because of it's education system. You go to a Ph.D program and pretty much 80-90% of the PhD candidates are foreign born. Americans are getting degrees in psychology and sociology instead of STEM creating a huge opportunity for foreign workers especially foreign Software Engineers. 

    You hit the problem on the head Safi.  Steve Jobs made it clear, that contrary to popular understanding,  the greatest impediment to moving production to the US was the shortage of engineers (not just software BTW, there are many other engineering jobs necessary to run a heavily automated plant).  This is an opportunity with the new administration to shift back towards a training and education model focused on meeting job demand, rather than funding each persons "self-discovery."   Indeed, most of these type of engineering jobs won't require Phd, or even traditional 4 year schools.  Let the revolution begin.  

    PS,  it is wonderful to hear that there is so much discussion of creating good paying jobs in the tech and other industries.  Previous administrations of both parties had given up on this, so kudos to a fresh start and innovative thinking.
    Agreed, the lack of qualified people is the biggest problem in the US. I guess Trump's focus on more vocational/technical skills type education would be a good first step.
    This. It needs to start now. 

    America can has already forfeited too much for too long. 
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