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Foxconn May Be Setting Up U.S. Manufacturing Base

Reports from Asia are suggesting that Foxconn is looking to establish a manufacturing plant in the U.S. Digitimes suggests that the firm, which makes devices for Apple, Microsoft, Dell and HP, is scouting L.A. and Detroit for potential sites. Although doubtful that the site would be used to put Apple products together (remember Obama's comment in one of the presidential debates that those manual jobs were never coming back to the U.S.?), there is some speculation that Foxconn is planning an automated production line for LCD TVs.

The firm's chairman, Terry Gou, has now twice— most recently yesterday— gone on the record talking about how much trickier the iPhone 5 is to put together than either its predecessors or rival smartphones. Earlier this summer, Foxconn announced huge losses. And, given that Apple has a habit of helping out struggling parts of its supply chain— yesterday it was revealed that it shovelled a couple of billion in Sharp's direction to ensure the Japanese firm delivered on its Apple components— perhaps there has been a bit of help from Cupertino. After all, it wouldn't half look good to have 'Designed and manufactured in California' on the box, would it?

Foxconn is already has a presence in the Americas with four factories in Brazil and a fifth one on the way. In fact, it's one of the locations where the iPhone 4S was assembled.