Apple and Foxconn to manufacture iPhones, iPads and iPods in India
In the near future, iPhones as well as iPods and iPads may be manufactured in India. The main manufacturing partner of Apple, Foxconn Technology is said to be in talks with the Indian government in order to build its manufacturing units in western Indian state of Maharashtra, according to a Reuters report.
As the world's largest contract manufacturer of electronic products, Foxconn Technology's move to enter into India is aimed at reducing cost of production, offsetting wages inflation in China and to boost Apple products sales in the world's third largest smartphone market.
Once successful, such a strategy essentially mean challenging Samsung Electronics position in India, manufacturing cheaper Apple products, which in turn will increase profits, and lastly by doing these Foxconn Technology may see more business coming its way from Apple in the coming years.
Foxconn building manufacturing plants in India means that indigenously built Apple iPhones will be competing with Samsung Electronics - which is at the moment the number one smartphone selling brand - and local players like Micromax in the country.
By 2020, Foxconn wants to develop 10-12 facilities in India; however the company has declined to disclose its plan in detail.
According to Phone Arena, certain parts would be built in India, while the assembly of the iPhones by Foxconn would continue to be done in China. It is also said Foxconn after setting up its manufacturing units in India, will sell Apple products locally and in international markets.
Maharashtra chief minister, Devendra Fadnavis said Foxconn would be building manufacturing centers in Pune or Aurangabad in Maharashtra, reported by IBTimes.
Last year, Foxconn was forced to shut it manufacturing shop in India after client Nokia was taken over by Microsoft Corp.
Apple is one of the biggest clients of Foxconn Technology (Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd). The company also builds electronic parts for some the leading electronics companies like Xiaomi, Acer and Sony.
Industries Minister of Maharashtra Subhash Desai told Reuters that Foxconn would be sending a delegation of their officers to scout for locations in a month's time.
People's interest has increased after the larger screened iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus were launched in India. However, the cost of Apple iPhones is said to be the only drawback when competing with Samsung's smartphones and other local smartphone manufacturers.
Apple iPhone 6 (16GB) cost 44000 rupees ($687.82), while Samsung's Galaxy S6 (32 GB) cost 40,000 rupees ($625.29).
Fluent.ai x BSH: Voice Automating the Assembly Line
Fluent.ai has deployed its voice recognition solutions in one of BSH’s German factories. BSH leads the market in producing connected appliances—its brands include Bosch, Siemens, Gaggenau, NEFF, and Thermador, and with this new partnership, the company intends to cut transition time in its assembly lines.
According to BSH, voice automation will yield 75-100% efficiency gains—but it’s the collaboration between the two companies that stands out. ‘After considering 11 companies for this partnership, we chose Fluent.ai because of their key competitive differentiators’, explained Ion Hauer, Venture Partner at BSH Startup Kitchen.
What Sets Fluent.ai Apart?
After seven years of research, the company developed a wide range of artificial intelligence (AI) software products to help original equipment manufacturers (OEM) expand their services. Three key aspects stood out to BSH, which operates across the world and in unique factory environments.
- Robust noise controls. The system can operate even in loud conditions.
- Low latency. The AI understands commands quickly and accurately.
- Multilingual support. BSH can expand the automation to any of its 50+ country operations.
How Voice Automation Works
Instead of pressing buttons, BSH factory workers will now be able to speak into a headset fitted with Fluent.ai’s voice recognition technology. After uttering a WakeWord, workers can use a command to start assembly line movement. As the technology is hands-free, workers benefit from less physical strain, which will both reduce employee fatigue and boost line production.
‘Implementing Fluent’s technology has already improved efficiencies within our factory, with initial implementation of the solution cutting down the transition time from four seconds to one and a half”, said Markus Maier, Project Lead at the BSH factory. ‘In the long run, the production time savings will be invaluable’.
Future Global Adoption
In the coming years, BSH and Fluent.ai will continue to push for artificial intelligence on factory lines, pursuing efficiency, ergonomics, and a healthy work environment. ‘We started with Fluent.ai on one factory assembly line, moved to three, and [are now] considering rolling the technology out worldwide’, said Maier.
Said Probal Lala, Fluent.ai’s CEO: ‘We are thrilled to be working with BSH, a company at the forefront of innovation. Seeing your solution out in the real world is incredibly rewarding, and we look forward to continuing and growing our collaboration’.