Originally Posted by anantksundaram
If it was so easy to do, they (and others, no doubt) would have done so.
The economies of scale are simply too vast. You would go out of business very quickly because of your high-cost business model.
In the meantime, given that some things will inevitably have to be outsourced, would you rather that Apple did not do anything
to improve the quality and decency of that which it does not (or cannot) produce internally?
Apple talked about being bold. This is bold. Easy? No, it's not easy. But apple isn't supposed to do easy, we have Dell for that.
On the other hand, I think you overstate the costs. I am not suggesting Apple manufacture huge volume components such as LCD panels, chips or disk drives. I am talking about enclosure manufacturing, PCB assembly, and final assembly. These are all limited to the volume of Apple's own sales.
In the case of Apple, economies of scale would not really change because nobody else uses unibody aluminum construction. There are also some cost savings having to do with travel, document translations, enforcement of elaborate secrecy protocols on third party assemblers, quality control, air freight, etc.
It would also speed responses to manufacturing problems such as those seen with cracked screens on the 27" iMac, or thermal paste application on many notebook models.
Consider that as recently as the G3 iMac and G4 Power PC (both profitable and successful, helping to bring the company back to life), this was done still done in the USA. Apple has much better scale that it did back with the G4.
So you definitely overstate the cost. There is some cost, but mostly its about how most management is trained to think these days. They hate to add to headcount, they hate labor costs, no matter how small.
Yes, global sourcing is here to stay. I know that. But they have gone too far in that direction. Apple's gross profit is ridiculous, and its cash reserve is huge. Apple does not base its competitiveness on low cost. If any company can try this, it's Apple. And if Apple does it, others will be forced to do it too, at least for a fraction of their production.