Here is a story that has certainly disappeared from your memory (as it had already disappeared from mine), so here is a brief summary for all to remember: about three years ago, the Foxconn announced an investment of $ 10 billion for the construction of a factory in Wisconsin (United States), which would initially produce LCD screens for televisions.
A few months later, we commented here that Apple’s partner had put a brake on the plans and, instead of producing large panels, would make a small savings and produce only LCD screens for smartphones (like the iPhone) in space, which would cost less money. Now, it seems that plans have once again been scaled back – and the prospect of producing iPhone screens in the US has moved on to the beleléu, since the space won’t even be a factory anymore.
In an interview with Reuters, Louis Woo – special assistant to Foxconn’s CEO – said the company «is not building a factory» in Wisconsin; instead, what is being built there is a technological center for research and development. The workers of the complex will be especially engineers and researchers who will focus mainly on the study of new technologies for assembling and producing equipment.
Some problems arise from this change of winds: for Apple, the news is bad because the company was certainly counting on LCD production in the US to please President Trump – who, as is well known, has been pressing Apple and all the big companies American companies to manufacture or assemble their products (or part of them) in the country.
Worse still, the job generation expected by the construction of the complex is declining by the day: initially, Foxconn said it had an estimate of hiring about 13,000 people in Wisconsin; then, the idea was to have about 5,200 active jobs by the end of 2020. Now, a source close to the subject says that the technology center will employ only about 1,000 people.
Whereas the Wisconsin government has granted $ 4 billion on Foxconn tax subsidies for the construction of the complex, such an estimate would mean that, for the creation of each new job, the state would spend about $ 4 million – which is leaving local residents somewhat dissatisfied.
It remains to be seen, now, when Foxconn’s plans will be completed and if there is still any chance that the investments made by the government will have a satisfactory return for the population.
Update, for Eduardo Marques Jan 31, 2019 at 11:16
According to the DigiTimes, Foxconn is reevaluating plans for this endeavor in Wisconsin, but that it is still a priority – keeping the promise of generating around 13,000 jobs.
According to Foxconn, the company is interested in seeking business opportunities in the LCD market to increase the influence of its Wisconsin campus. Foxconn said it will expand its local investments and that new projects will not be limited to the area initially decided, ensuring that the company and local workers can achieve long-term success.
Most likely, this decision has something to do with the news that Apple intends to abandon LCD screens (at least on its smartphones) from 2020.
via Cult of Mac