There have been some sad and shady dealings at Foxconn in the past; including a rash of employee suicides a few years back. Recently about a dozen Foxconn managers were arrested on charges that they were running a kickback scheme on component suppliers. The charges claim that the managers were demanding kickbacks from iPhone part suppliers.
With BlackBerry joining hands with Foxconn Technology Group this upcoming season, it would appear that at least two unique devices have been cancelled before they’ll have been released. This cancellation includes phones codenamed Cafe and Kopi, both of them having been planned as lower-end devices. BlackBerry plans on having Foxconn take over the manufacture of all oncoming low-cost phones.
BlackBerry has announced $4.4bn in losses in its most recent financial quarter, looking to a new device manufacturing deal with Foxconn to try to staunch the gush of cash from the beleaguered Canadian firm. BlackBerry shipped just 1.9m smartphones in the three month period ending November 30th, 2013, of which the majority were cheaper BlackBerry 7 handsets rather than the BlackBerry 10 phones the company has pegged its future on. Meanwhile, BlackBerry is also axing its BlackBerry Live conference, the company has admitted.
Foxconn, perhaps best known as Apple's manufacturing partner of iPhones, iPads, and Macs, is making a push into wearables with a new investment fund for innovative startups in the segment, it's reported, with business said to kick off in early 2014. The financing scheme will begin selecting potential candidates in the first quarter of the new year, two sources tell Bloomberg, though operations won't supposedly get their own dedicated premises until Q4. Foxconn demonstrated a smartwatch prototype of its own earlier in 2013, though the incubator will be intended to facilitate third-party projects.
With the launch of each new version of the iPhone, there are typically production issues that prevent the phone from being able to meet demand early on. Supply catches up with demand eventually, but many people that wish to own the latest version of the iPhone have a hard time finding it in the weeks and months after launch. This is the case with the iPhone 5S with some people who want to purchase having a hard time getting their hands on the smartphone.
Foxconn -- accused exploiter of student laborers, rumored catalyst for alleged PlayStation 4 sabotage, installer of suicide nets for bullied workers at its exploding plants, and outgoing manufacturer of iPhones and other electronics -- wants to open a Foxconn-branded plant for high-end electronics like smartphones and tablets in Arizona, USA. Foxconn chairman and president Terry Gou recently met with Arizona governor Janice Brewer, Unwired View reports, to discuss setting up shop in her state. The news first appeared in the Chinese press. [UPDATE: The company is also investing in a Pennsylvania plant to the tune of $30 million.]
Sony recently launched the PlayStation 4 in North America. Console sales were described as being "very strong" and are said to have topped the one million milestone. But while those two pieces would suggest a smooth launch, there were some issues. Sony released a zero-day software update and that annoyance hit along with some bricked and broken consoles.
The first rumblings we heard that Apple was looking to open its first retail store in South America surfaced in November of 2012. Those rumblings were about a year ago and this week rumblings have resurfaced with a tip from a source claiming to be familiar with Apple's plans. That source claims that the Apple retail store in Brazil could be opening at some point in the next five months.
It would appear that the team responsible keeping labor policies intact for at least one Foxconn manufacturing plant in China is in it deep this week as a group of students was found to be working well beyond their normal allotment of intern hours. What we've got here is a set of student engineering majors headed for graduation at the Xi'an Institute of Technology working specifically on an order of Sony's next gaming console: the PlayStation 4. These students worked on a series of tasks at a Foxconn plant which had them staying late and working overtime - strictly against student intern rules in the plant.