Last year, after the now infamous string of suicides that took place at one of its factories (not that such things didn't happen again), Foxconn decided it would be better off with robots as employees.Exorcisms, increased pay, transfers and safety nets failed to solve the problem, so the company started making Foxbots.
That brings us to this: the first 10,000 Foxbots have been activated, and the company intends to have 20,000 more by the end of the year (2012).
After that, the company will keep outfitting its Chinese factories with the robots until it has replaced at least 1,000,000 human employees.
We suppose some employees will be fired, with a token few kept to maintain the robots themselves.
No doubt, the company would like to replace everyone somehow, but the robots can only perform repetitive and relatively simple tasks, like lifting, selecting and placement.
Smartphones, tablets and other devices that need intricate assembly will keep demanding real workers for a long time.