Following increasing requests to have more of its products bear the 'Made in USA' tag, Foxconn Technology Group is keen on expanding its operations in North America. In a phone interview with Bloomberg, Foxconn spokesman Louis Woo shared, "We are looking at doing more manufacturing in the U.S. because, in general, customers want more to be done there." Woo refused to comment on individual clients or on specific plans though. Foxconn Technology Group is the major supplier to Cupertino-based Apple Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Co. Apple, which is the most valuable company in the world, is incidentally Foxconn's biggest client.
Moving towards ''Made in US"
Interestingly, Apple CEO Tim Cook revealed in an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek that Apple plans to spend over $100 million in the coming year on building Mac computers in the US. Going further, Woo added, "Supply chain is one of the big challenges for U.S. expansion. In addition, any manufacturing we take back to the U.S. needs to leverage high-value engineering talent there in comparison to the low-cost labor of China."
Foxconn has over 1.5 million workers at its factories across China. The units benefit from having suppliers located in the vicinity, leading to higher flexibility, lesser delivery times and low transport costs. Interestingly, core processors used in Apple's iPhones are manufactured in the US, ditto for the glass used in the displays. Woo has shared that Cook did not specify as to where the manufacturing would take place, or the quantity that would be produced in the US. At a forum last month, Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou revealed that he wants to bring US engineers to Asia to train them in manufacturing, before deploying them there.
Foxconn units are popular largely for being from the factories where Apple’s coveted products are manufactured, among other things. Earlier last month, Foxconn chief Terry Gou spoke about the iPhone 5 and claimed that Foxconn is not manufacturing iPhones as fast as Apple would like it to.
According to reports, the demand for iPhones is too high and Taiwan's Foxconn Technology Group said the company's flagship Hon Hai unit is having a hard time coping with it. Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou said, “It's not easy to make the iPhones. We are falling short of meeting the huge demand.”
A recent report by Digitimes claimed that Foxconn International Holding (FIH), a subsidiary of Foxconn Electronics, has also landed the order to manufacture handsets for Microsoft and Amazon. The handsets from these brands will be launched in mid-2013.