Reportedly, Apple Plans to Replace Fifty Percent of iPhone Assembly Line Workers with Machines

| Updated on 26 June 2024

Apple is looking to automate the supply chain end of its iPhone production. According to a new report from The Information, Apple aims to cut headcount on some iPhone assembly lines by up to fifty percent. 

The company is planning to achieve this goal in the next few years. This reportedly comes from Sabih Khan, Apple’s senior vice president of operations. According to reports, this decision by Apple was made after considering the violence between iPhone workers and police in November 2022. This incident happened at one of Foxconn’s primary assembly plants. 

However, the machinery required to complete this can be expensive. To automate most tasks at the iPhone manufacturing plant, the company might have to shell out hundreds of millions of dollars each year. 

According to a recent report, the total number of employees working on the iPhone assembly line has fallen to 1.4 million in 2023 from 1.6 million in 2022. The report also suggests that a significant amount of automation was present in the assembly of the iPhone 15. 

The automation initiatives at Apple are headed by Peter Thompson, the Vice President at Apple. Over the past year or so, his team has been at it to successfully automate parts of the iPhone assembly process. They are doing so by installing metal brackets and flexible printed circuit boards without human intervention. 

However, they’ve not quite reached the stage where they can automate it fully. There are still some things that need human intervention. Some plans for the iPhone 16 were abandoned due to quality issues that did not meet company standards.

Gaurav Pal

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