• Your favorite

    Apple

    ,

    iPhone

    ,

    iPad

    ,

    iOS

    ,
    Jailbreak
    , and
    Cydia
    site.
  • NYT Article Highlights How U.S. Lost Out on iPhone Manufacturing Work



    Apple and their overseas production operations have come under considerable heat in the last few years. However, a new article in the New York Times brings to light why Apple, more or less, is forced to manufacture their products in China and other countries.

    The piece is nothing short of enlightening, but trying to summarize the seven-page opus would be a disservice to Charles Duhigg and Keith Bradsher’s reporting efforts.

    However, the big take aways are:

    • The only place Apple could manufacture products is China, and it isn’t just because of the cost. The Chinese governement subisidized the building of factory cities where companies and manufactures could hire legions of workers (3,000) and engineers (8,700) to live in dorms in a day. This same process would take nearly nine-months in the U.S.
    • The most prescient example of this given in the article is Steve Job’s order to make the iPhone’s screen unscatchable. Jobs refused to sell a phone that people would carry in their pocket under the constant fear of having the screen scratch. So six weeks before the devices release he ordered his “lieutenants” into in office and told them to figure out to make the glass scratch proof, and have it ready in a month. This scale of manufacturing simply wouldn’t be possible in the U.S. under those time constraints.

    After one executive left that meeting, he booked a flight to Shenzhen, China. If Mr. Jobs wanted perfect, there was nowhere else to go.

    New screens began arriving at the plant near midnight.

    A foreman immediately roused 8,000 workers inside the company’s dormitories, according to the executive. Each employee was given a biscuit and a cup of tea, guided to a workstation and within half an hour started a 12-hour shift fitting glass screens into beveled frames. Within 96 hours, the plant was producing over 10,000 iPhones a day.
    For over two years, the company had been working on a project — code-named Purple 2 — that presented the same questions at every turn: how do you completely reimagine the cellphone? And how do you design it at the highest quality — with an unscratchable screen, for instance — while also ensuring that millions can be manufactured quickly and inexpensively enough to earn a significant profit? — NYT

    • Academic and manufacturing analysts estimate that because labor is such a small part of manufacturing Apple’s devices that paying American workers would add roughly $65 to each iPhone’s end cost.
    • Apple’s A4 and A5 processors are manufactured by Samsung. In Texas. By Americans.


    An enormous amount of information is packed in the article about the regulations, laws, and government postulating that caused the U.S. to lose out on Apple manufacturing, but the message is clear: labor costs equal a small part in the much larger logistical equation that is Apple’s iDevice supply chain.

    Source: The New York Times [via 9to5Mac]
    This article was originally published in forum thread: NYT Article Highlights How U.S. Lost out on iPhone Manufacturing Work started by Phillip Swanson View original post
    Comments 46 Comments
    1. Mainevent94's Avatar
      Mainevent94 -
      That is one fine looking factory worker...
    1. Jahooba's Avatar
      Jahooba -
      I'm wondering, how many times was the word "unions" used in the article?

      I did a count: NOT ONCE.

      New York Times: If it goes against your liberal agenda, don't report it.
    1. iZangetsu's Avatar
      iZangetsu -
      Bull**** I would've gladly shelled out $65 more for my phone knowing I helped in providing jobs for my fellow Americans who need them
    1. richardjs's Avatar
      richardjs -
      you have people b1tching and whining about paying $0.99 for an app and you think they'll be happy to shell out another $65 for their device? everyone's a patriot until they have to pay for it.
    1. iZangetsu's Avatar
      iZangetsu -
      Ain't no patriot and probably never will be but I'm part of the populace that's unemployed so I can comment on this with understanding
    1. Aerocare's Avatar
      Aerocare -
      I totally agree. We would pay more if we knew it was giving thousands of jobs, American jobs. Besides Apple enthusiasts will pay anything for an Apple product. We know they're over priced and we buy them anyway. It was all about saving money and will always be.

      That's why I say Steve Jobs was a great leader when it comes to inovation but he wasn't a great American. I don't care who doesn't like that but it's the truth.

      A foreman immediately roused 8,000 workers inside the company’s dormitories, according to the executive. Each employee was given a biscuit and a cup of tea, guided to a workstation and within half an hour started a 12-hour shift fitting glass screens into beveled frames.

      How can any civilized country believe this is ok? Give me a break. If it was you being treated like a slave you'd be the first to complain and sue your employer for not treating you as a human being. Let's not be hypocrites.
    1. dandruff's Avatar
      dandruff -
      By manufacturing 'i' products in the U.S., the worker cost alone would add $65, that says nothing about the other "perks" China offers. The United States simply can't supply Apple with the flexibility they need. Basically, you would not have an iPhone if they were trying to produce them here.
    1. KraXik's Avatar
      KraXik -
      But the iPhone isn't just sold in America. You think people in Europe/Australasia/South America give a rats if it's helping the American population? I'm willing to bet that Apple sell more iPhones World wide than they do in America. So where are their priorities going to be?
    1. Moreno53's Avatar
      Moreno53 -
      People are so myopic it's ridiculous. Apple sells hundreds of millions of iPhones, iPads, iEtc... So obviously they aren't over priced. They aren't over priced because they are made in a country that has an enormous population that allows for city factories to be built and used. Welcome to the global economy, in which we reap the benefits of a cheap iPhone.
    1. *T*'s Avatar
      *T* -
      Quote Originally Posted by iZangetsu View Post
      Bull**** I would've gladly shelled out $65 more for my phone knowing I helped in providing jobs for my fellow Americans who need them
      Not I. Moneys tight my friend

      Quote Originally Posted by KraXik View Post
      But the iPhone isn't just sold in America. You think people in Europe/Australasia/South America give a rats if it's helping the American population? I'm willing to bet that Apple sell more iPhones World wide than they do in America. So where are their priorities going to be?
      Mod edit: removed. Do not insult other members
    1. KraXik's Avatar
      KraXik -
      Quote Originally Posted by *T* View Post

      Shut up. Ur stupid
      Yep. Keep playing up to those American stereotypes.
    1. JacquesChirac's Avatar
      JacquesChirac -
      Wow. Just wow. That is totally not the message of this article. The message this article shows is that this situation is incredibly complicated and to impose a digestible narrative on it like "the message is clear: labor costs equal a small part in the much larger logistical equation that is Apple’s iDevice supply chain" is extremely ignorant and misguiding.

      It's obvious that almost none of you read this article. Not even the person reporting on it read the entire thing. If you did, then you'd realize that it's not a matter of $65. It's a matter of reality. Americans need to face it-- they have too much individuality and too little work ethic to be treated like slaves working 12hr/day shifts in sweat shop dorms separate from their family no matter what the pay. As Steve Jobs said, these jobs aren't coming back. At least not in any foreseeable future particularly with misleading reporting like this. If you think this is a matter of $65, you're lying to yourself. As the nyt article states:

      "But such calculations [the $65] are, in many respects, meaningless because building the iPhone in the United States would demand much more than hiring Americans — it would require transforming the national and global economies."

      There is no way this would ever happen in the United States:

      "Apple executives say that going overseas, at this point, is their only option. One former executive described how the company relied upon a Chinese factory to revamp iPhone manufacturing just weeks before the device was due on shelves. Apple had redesigned the iPhone’s screen at the last minute, forcing an assembly line overhaul. New screens began arriving at the plant near midnight.

      A foreman immediately roused 8,000 workers inside the company’s dormitories, according to the executive. Each employee was given a biscuit and a cup of tea, guided to a workstation and within half an hour started a 12-hour shift fitting glass screens into beveled frames. Within 96 hours, the plant was producing over 10,000 iPhones a day.

      “The speed and flexibility is breathtaking,” the executive said. “There’s no American plant that can match that.”


      Or this:


      "Another critical advantage for Apple was that China provided engineers at a scale the United States could not match. Apple’s executives had estimated that about 8,700 industrial engineers were needed to oversee and guide the 200,000 assembly-line workers eventually involved in manufacturing iPhones. The company’s analysts had forecast it would take as long as nine months to find that many qualified engineers in the United States.

      In China, it took 15 days."


      Now let me be clear, I'm by no means advocating a chinese sweatshop system adopted in the US with analogous higher pay. This extreme productivity and efficiency comes at a large ethical and human rights cost that should be hashed out and deliberated.

      I highly urge you to read this article yourself! It's rather interesting and enlightening. This modmyi reporting is very misleading, to say the least.

      The situation is super complicated and the new york times article does an excellent job analyzing this from an extraordinary number of perspectives in great detail.
    1. Dazz187s's Avatar
      Dazz187s -
      Quote Originally Posted by iZangetsu View Post
      Bull**** I would've gladly shelled out $65 more for my phone knowing I helped in providing jobs for my fellow Americans who need them
      Same here, anything to get us out of this hole we're in.
    1. mr117's Avatar
      mr117 -
      Seriously? America has unions, high wages (compared to China), safe working conditions and the EPA to protect ALL of us from pollution. China has none of those things. Read the history of the Industrial Revolution (hell, read Dickens) and you can see what comes of that. We fought our way up to this point. How many of you want 10-year-olds working 14-hour days again? How many of YOU want 14-hour working days? When you get hurt in a factory you are fired? No minimum wage? No bathroom breaks? Polluted skies and rivers causing disease? No using your phone to text while working?

      As to those saying, well, I'd pay $65 more dollars, how many of you shop at WalMart or Target? Both are full of Chinese products. Face it, America is an expensive place to make things. It's easy to say, let's get rid of unions and the EPA, but at what cost? So the minimum wage can be lowered and we choke on pollution? These are complicated issues, and can't be solved by simply tossing out the rights American workers have earned over the last 150 years.

      Oh, and which of YOU would be willing to work in conditions found in Chinese factories? For their pay? Even for higher pay? Wake up, here's a biscuit, go work for 12 hours. I live and work outside Los Angeles, in an agricultural area with Hispanic workers toiling in the fields like serfs during the Dark Ages. I hear a lot about the peril we face from undocumented/illegal immigrants (nope, we aren't going to use the word "aliens"), and I don't see any "Americans" (code word for White) trying to get those jobs, even in these hard times.

      It's easy to pontificate about things, but it's much harder to fix them. It's easy to say that China should give us back our jobs, but much harder to face the cost of that. It's easy to blame our politicians, when it is us who want cheaper goods. And it is easy to say that if only things were like they used to be, all would be fine. Most of you wouldn't have liked the 1950s (I was there), and we are living in the 2000s now. We have to adjust to changing ways and find new roads to success. We are no long an industrializing society- China and India are.

      Sad but true. Now get over it and go back to whining about paying for a $.99 app.
    1. feidhlim1986's Avatar
      feidhlim1986 -
      The only place Apple could manufacture products is China, and it isn’t just because of the cost.
      Of course it all came down to where could we get the thing made for the cheapest cost so we can maximize the profit. Apple has been building their stuff in China years before the iPhone was even an idea..
    1. jOnGarrett's Avatar
      jOnGarrett -
      Quote Originally Posted by iZangetsu View Post
      Bull**** I would've gladly shelled out $65 more for my phone knowing I helped in providing jobs for my fellow Americans who need them
      no you wouldn't. you do what every other American does (myself included) and you buy mostly foreign made goods, weather is your car, your phone or your wide screen TV, none of it is made in the USA.

      and the reason for it is not because we wont support out country but because American companies either move their operations offshore or they make inferior products.

      Quote Originally Posted by mr117 View Post
      Seriously? America has unions, high wages (compared to China), safe working conditions and the EPA to protect ALL of us from pollution. China has none of those things. Read the history of the Industrial Revolution (hell, read Dickens) and you can see what comes of that. We fought our way up to this point. How many of you want 10-year-olds working 14-hour days again? How many of YOU want 14-hour working days? When you get hurt in a factory you are fired? No minimum wage? No bathroom breaks? Polluted skies and rivers causing disease? No using your phone to text while working?

      As to those saying, well, I'd pay $65 more dollars, how many of you shop at WalMart or Target? Both are full of Chinese products. Face it, America is an expensive place to make things. It's easy to say, let's get rid of unions and the EPA, but at what cost? So the minimum wage can be lowered and we choke on pollution? These are complicated issues, and can't be solved by simply tossing out the rights American workers have earned over the last 150 years.

      Oh, and which of YOU would be willing to work in conditions found in Chinese factories? For their pay? Even for higher pay? Wake up, here's a biscuit, go work for 12 hours. I live and work outside Los Angeles, in an agricultural area with Hispanic workers toiling in the fields like serfs during the Dark Ages. I hear a lot about the peril we face from undocumented/illegal immigrants (nope, we aren't going to use the word "aliens"), and I don't see any "Americans" (code word for White) trying to get those jobs, even in these hard times.

      It's easy to pontificate about things, but it's much harder to fix them. It's easy to say that China should give us back our jobs, but much harder to face the cost of that. It's easy to blame our politicians, when it is us who want cheaper goods. And it is easy to say that if only things were like they used to be, all would be fine. Most of you wouldn't have liked the 1950s (I was there), and we are living in the 2000s now. We have to adjust to changing ways and find new roads to success. We are no long an industrializing society- China and India are.

      Sad but true. Now get over it and go back to whining about paying for a $.99 app.
      +100 dude !! sometimes I think I'm the only Adult here (over 21) as most of these comments are clearly the comments of immature people with no real responsibilities or life experiences.
    1. iZangetsu's Avatar
      iZangetsu -
      Quote Originally Posted by jOnGarrett View Post
      no you wouldn't. you do what every other American does (myself included) and you buy mostly foreign made goods, weather is your car, your phone or your wide screen TV, none of it is made in the USA.

      and the reason for it is not because we wont support out country but because American companies either move their operations offshore or they make inferior products.



      +100 dude !! sometimes I think I'm the only Adult here (over 21) as most of these comments are clearly the comments of immature people with no real responsibilities or life experiences.
      So you don't see that you buy foreign products because that's what is available in majority? If it were all made here and you didn't have a choice but to buy US products your argument would be pointless. We get what is available. And like I said I talk with understanding. When your unemployed and have a 19month old daughter to feed let me know what you would be willing to do to provide her with a better future
    1. Nickaroni22's Avatar
      Nickaroni22 -
      This subject was mentioned in Jobs biography. He was having a conversation with President Obama on this subject. Jobs gave some reason why, very interesting.
    1. Aerocare's Avatar
      Aerocare -
      Quote Originally Posted by jOnGarrett View Post
      no you wouldn't. you do what every other American does (myself included) and you buy mostly foreign made goods, weather is your car, your phone or your wide screen TV, none of it is made in the USA.
      Seriously? I buy what I believe is a good product for what I want to spend and if the iPhone were made in the USA of course I'd still buy it. Why did you buy it, because it was made in China? Of course not, you bought it because it's an iPhone and that's what you wanted.
    1. jrrtps's Avatar
      jrrtps -
      Finally a good issue to talk about, how many Iphone have been sold until now and you american´s including us foreigner supporting Chinese jobs employees gov. tax instead to this money stay inside of US.
      for me this is shame!!! this Chinese companies don´t care about the employees they want only money.
      why you American´s don´t ask Apple about this?