Overseas contractors feel pressure from Apple's rules of secrecy

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Comments

  • lowededwookielowededwookie Posts: 677member
    I think if Apple wants utmost control over secrecy they will need to bring EVERYTHING in house. They have the potential with PA Semi so if they spend some of that $50 billion dollars on creating manufacturing and pressing plants they will be able to ensure secrecy.
  • lkrupplkrupp Posts: 3,868member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iVlad View Post


    But what if Apple needs those $30 Billion to buy Adobe?



    Adobe's market cap is only about 16.9 billion. Apple would have plenty left over after buying them.
  • robin huberrobin huber Posts: 2,662member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lowededwookie View Post


    I think if Apple wants utmost control over secrecy they will need to bring EVERYTHING in house. They have the potential with PA Semi so if they spend some of that $50 billion dollars on creating manufacturing and pressing plants they will be able to ensure secrecy.



    That is my most fervent hope, but it's probably not going to happen. I believe PA Semi is not a fabricator, but just a designer--much like Apple. Perhaps they do press their own silicon, I don't know.



    I am afraid we have become so accustomed to paying relatively cheap prices for consumer electronics, that the additional costs that U.S. manufacture would add to the retail price would be an impossible sell. We heard the criticism when it was speculated that the new iPad would start at $1000 didn't we? Even now that we know the price scale, I bet even the cheapest one would be even more than $1K if it were built here.



    Bottom line, there is a price to be paid for fairness. Talk and sympathy are cheap. If you want those who labor to make your products to have a decent life, you have to be willing to pay for it. Blaming Apple and other companies for poor working conditions is not enough. You have to be willing to pay more for their products.
  • nmmi89nmmi89 Posts: 8member
    Big deal. Intellectual property theft and manufacturing theft i.e. fake iPhones from China are rampant in the Asian Markets. So what if Apple wants to keep their products proprietary. Good for them. Non-disclosure agreements are great. Tight security, metal detectors...sweet.
  • johnny mozzarellajohnny mozzarella Posts: 1,728member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    In addition, 23 of 83 surveyed factories were not even paying some of their employers China's minimum wage.



    Wow! They pay Foxcon for the privilege of assembling Apple products.
  • johnny mozzarellajohnny mozzarella Posts: 1,728member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    One report said the man was subjected to "unbearable interrogation techniques" in the ensuing investigation by his employer, Foxconn.



    Waterboarding?

    Elecroshock to the genitals?

    The English Patient?
  • peter236peter236 Posts: 254member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by macinthe408 View Post


    Hmm, I wonder what part of the term 'contract manufacturer' do they not understand.



    Most of these manufacturers, although not able to use the exact same parts in other projects, gain invaluable information from cutting-edge manufacturing techniques, which Apple is always adopting.



    One of my friends works at A***e and claims that most of the processes must remain proprietary for a period of time after the manufacturing run ends, after which they can apply to other customers' projects. Thus, those shiny new Dell laptops with screws that look like they weren't purchased at the local Ace Hardware store might have come from a spec originally developed by Apple.



    Apple has to rely on the contract manufacturs to design its parts. For example Apple does not know how to make touch screens, batteries and flash memory. It has to rely on the contractors to design and make those parts that can be incorporated into an Apple product. If Apple wants a battery of a certain shape for its iPods, or an aluminium shell of a certain design for its laptop, it has to totally rely on others to make them, as Apple does not have the technology to make them. So Apple should not ask for too much.
  • cycomikocycomiko Posts: 716member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post


    Waterboarding?

    Elecroshock to the genitals?

    The English Patient?



    Continual "Im a Mac" adverts
  • shrikeshrike Posts: 494member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post


    It's pretty simple:



    Don't leak or steal products.



    That's pretty much it.



    Some of these reporters and other commentators live in some weird dream world where beer is free or something. It's like they are 16 years old and have never met people who work in jobs that require secrecy. It's pretty simple, if your job requires you not to talk about what you are doing, you don't. If you do, the best thing that can happen is that you'll be fired, if you're lucky.



    These secrecy conditions appear perfectly normal. Don't know about workers' rights and stuff in China such as a competitive wage, or the rather subjective minimum wage, working conditions, work hours, etc, but talking about someone else's IP is not within their rights.



    Apple's secrecy rules have nothing to do with working conditions, and the two aren't related. Seems rather manipulative to conflate the two.



    If the USA grew any balls and invested in manufacturing technology so as to be competitive with foreign manufactures, workers in these manufacturing plants will be subject to the same secrecy rules.
  • shrikeshrike Posts: 494member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post


    That is my most fervent hope, but it's probably not going to happen. I believe PA Semi is not a fabricator, but just a designer--much like Apple. Perhaps they do press their own silicon, I don't know.



    Probably? It's never. The cost of a developing a leading edge fab process is something like 10 billion now (for 45/32 nm) and it'll double for every new process. To recoup the cost, Apple would have to sell 10+ billion more of product on top of what they are doing now to break even, and I'm pretty sure they'll want at least 40% to 45% margin on the fab process. It's simply not possible. There will only be 2 or 3 semiconductor manufacturers in the future: Intel's consortium, Samsung's consortium, and IBM's consortium. That's just to manufacture the SoC.



    Besides the semiconductor manufacturer's are mostly in modernized countries, the state-of-art fabs.



    It's the assembly plant conditions everyone is "complaining" about where components are delivered and assembled into a product.



    Quote:

    I am afraid we have become so accustomed to paying relatively cheap prices for consumer electronics, that the additional costs that U.S. manufacture would add to the retail price would be an impossible sell. We heard the criticism when it was speculated that the new iPad would start at $1000 didn't we? Even now that we know the price scale, I bet even the cheapest one would be even more than $1K if it were built here.



    Bottom line, there is a price to be paid for fairness. Talk and sympathy are cheap. If you want those who labor to make your products to have a decent life, you have to be willing to pay for it. Blaming Apple and other companies for poor working conditions is not enough. You have to be willing to pay more for their products.



    A decent life is a rather subjective term. Truly it is. It is difficult to relate on what a decent life means to people who are so removed from Western culture. It is at best misinformed to developed opinions based on these premeditated controversial media reports.
  • hypoluxahypoluxa Posts: 568member
    Here is a story on the "compound"



    http://online.wsj.com/public/article....html?mod=blog



    Very interesting.
  • satcomersatcomer Posts: 130member
    Am I the only one that thinks that Apple should go with either a USA or Canada factory and avoid these shady China factories.
  • hypoluxahypoluxa Posts: 568member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by satcomer View Post


    Am I the only one that thinks that Apple should go with either a USA or Canada factory and avoid these shady China factories.



    No your not. But US companies need cheap labor to make their huge profits. They wouldn't be making the profits they make if they set up shop here in the US.
  • dr millmossdr millmoss Posts: 5,403member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hypoluxa View Post


    No your not. But US companies need cheap labor to make their huge profits. They wouldn't be making the profits they make if they set up shop here in the US.



    They need the cheap labor to remain competitive. Everybody likes the low prices, but nobody likes how they are achieved.
  • hypoluxahypoluxa Posts: 568member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post


    They need the cheap labor to remain competitive. Everybody likes the low prices, but nobody likes how they are achieved.



    That is true as well, unfortunately...
  • macologistmacologist Posts: 264member
    Labor Costs vs. Talk Is Cheap, Outsourcing... -- not an easy balance... It reminds me of this quote:



    “Laws are like sausages, it is better not to see them being made!”

    -- Otto von Bismarck

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otto_von_Bismarck



    Laws, Mac, sausages, babies, and on and on... Birth, labor, delivery -- all those can be messy...



    Debating Capitalism vs. Socialism, and all other ISMs, as is sometimes the case on this Forum is endless! But luckily, it could be worse -- if politics and religion off topic stuff spills into this Forum...!



    SPYING -- we can only imagine what's going on in the tech world, and other worlds, with BILLIONS on the line, stock manipulation etc. It's a miracle that we don't hear more about Sabotage...



    In the corporate lingo I heard word = execution! It's amazing how all those giant visions get implemented, executed etc. on such a giant international scale... A lot of great minds at work! How in the world do they ever sleep, starting with Steve Jobs, at Apple, as just one example?! Yes, all those execs have secretaries, and chains of command, but still -- stress!!!



    Even if all Apple manufacturing was done in the US, there still would be spying etc... And then it's back to the same Infinite Loop (pun intended) of Labor Costs vs. Talk Is Cheap, Outsourcing debate...



    PR Wars... -- rumors planted, trolls, pro-trolls, etc. I wonder what we'd discover if all the Apple related stories sources were investigated. Agendas etc... I bet all companies try to keep as much secret as they can. Dumping on Apple for being the most secretive is being made into a unique thing, when it's likely not. Maybe that "dumping" is a diversion move itself? How can we really know? Can we always believe what we read/hear/see? Of course not...



    I welcome Apple's efforts to do all they can to make sure that their workers in US, and Outsourcing Countries are treated well... But, if a strike in China (I think) is timed to the iPad Announcement, then its timing can be questioned! To automatically take one side or the other might be a rush to judgement!



    I am not a huge fan of Conspiracy Theories in general, but, to deny a possibility of some of that stuff being plausible would be naive, I think!



    Thanks to all for your comments! This Forum, with its content and tools [Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4] is EXCELLENT, if not the best!!!
  • nmmi89nmmi89 Posts: 8member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hypoluxa View Post


    No your not. But US companies need cheap labor to make their huge profits. They wouldn't be making the profits they make if they set up shop here in the US.



    That's true. U.S. businesses get taxed so high that they take their shops overseas for cheap labor. Lower taxes on businesses, pay U.S. workers what their worth and bring back jobs to the U.S.
  • lowededwookielowededwookie Posts: 677member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post


    I am afraid we have become so accustomed to paying relatively cheap prices for consumer electronics, that the additional costs that U.S. manufacture would add to the retail price would be an impossible sell. We heard the criticism when it was speculated that the new iPad would start at $1000 didn't we? Even now that we know the price scale, I bet even the cheapest one would be even more than $1K if it were built here.



    This notion is incorrect on so many levels (sorry I'm attacking it in general not just from your comment). The idea that the cost would go up is not necessarily correct. Think about it, by not having to import then Apple wouldn't pay customs duties. By not having to supply parts from other companies they can do things cheaper overall. By making their own parts they have the potential to supply other companies so they get more bang for buck.



    The fact that it costs $10 billion roughly to setup a fabrication plant is not the issue. Apple made $15 billion in profits last year leaving $5 billion if they made their own plant. Labour costs might go up but then they can make that money back elsewhere with reduced costs so the cost of the end products can stay relatively the same. They would also be able to blow away the competition by manufacturing their own processors that aren't on the market bringing in the potential to bring out Intel and AMD killers and progress the development of RAM and other technologies rather than having to wait until someone makes something you can use.
  • christopher126christopher126 Posts: 3,418member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by acslater017 View Post


    Apple probably has more manufacturing clout than any other tech company out there these days. If the manufacturers don't want to play by their customer's (Apple's) rules, they don't have to do business. However, Apple does need to follow up on their "treat all workers with respect" words. They did a great job improving their environmental impact over the past three or four years. Perhaps the next step is to publicly, transparently set standards for its manufacturers - then enforce them with inspections.



    Apple's got $30 billion in cash. They can afford to pay their factory workers the Chinese minimum wage, give them breaks, be treated humanely, etc. It's fine if they want to be secretive - they just need to be aware of the environment this causes for their suppliers and ensure that people are treated with respect.



    Very thoughtful comment...



    I remember when Sears was the big dog in retailing (pre-Walmart days) and they would visit a small manufacturer in Iowa or NJ and say we need x amount of widgets for all our stores! The small manufacturer would think he just got shat on by the golden goose! (a good thing!) they would invest (borrow) to expand, retool their plant only to be visited the next year by Sears and be told to keep the contract they had to produce it for a lot less than the current price. The small manufacturer had to accept it and basically ended up just wearing out their machinery, plant and really working for nothing!
  • grkinggrking Posts: 533member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NMMI89 View Post


    That's true. U.S. businesses get taxed so high that they take their shops overseas for cheap labor. Lower taxes on businesses, pay U.S. workers what their worth and bring back jobs to the U.S.



    why in the world do you think that businesses would increase worker pay if taxes were lowered? The only people who would see their pay go up would be the the executives with larger bonuses.
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