Ned Flanders wrote: fisticuffs wrote:
Do you think that Apple manufactures all of those yummy "pads" and "phones" in the good 'ol USA with apple-cheeked, sexism-free, well-paid union labor?
I'd gladly pay more for them if they did.
I read somewhere that an iPhone would cost like $3K if completely manufactured in the U.S.
I'm revisiting this discussion because there's a recent, fascinating article in the New York Times that addresses this very question, and indeed, the bigger question as to why consumer electronics (focusing on Apple) aren't manufactured here.How the U.S. Lost Out on iPhone Work
It is hard to estimate how much more it would cost to build iPhones in the United States. However, various academics and manufacturing analysts estimate that because labor is such a small part of technology manufacturing, paying American wages would add up to $65 to each iPhone’s expense. Since Apple’s profits are often hundreds of dollars per phone, building domestically, in theory, would still give the company a healthy reward.
The larger problem is finding domestic companies that are as fast, flexible, and scalable as foreign companies when it comes to manufacturing:
When an Apple team visited, the Chinese plant’s owners were already constructing a new wing. “This is in case you give us the contract,” the manager said, according to a former Apple executive. The Chinese government had agreed to underwrite costs for numerous industries, and those subsidies had trickled down to the glass-cutting factory. It had a warehouse filled with glass samples available to Apple, free of charge. The owners made engineers available at almost no cost. They had built on-site dormitories so employees would be available 24 hours a day.
The Chinese plant got the job.
“The entire supply chain is in China now,” said another former high-ranking Apple executive. “You need a thousand rubber gaskets? That’s the factory next door. You need a million screws? That factory is a block away. You need that screw made a little bit different? It will take three hours.”
There are, of course, the trade-offs that American workers wouldn't (and shouldn't, IMO) accept: 12-hour shifts six days a week. Living at the factory in dormitories. Cheap wages.
Definitely worth a read.