Originally Posted by xsu
Apple taking physical control of production would be the worst thing to happen for Apple. Apple has demonstrated through their success and failure that their core skill is in design and marketing, not actual manufacturing. Taking on production would seriously dull their focus and drag down their ROI to boot.
When has Apple ever assembled their own hardware to provide the success/failure evidence?
I'm not talking about taking sand and turning it into glass. As for focus, what of the unibody milling, the white paint. I'd say Apple is already heavily involved in developing the production methods (by altering existing tech they find). It is only the labour force they don't control and even Apple invests a lot of time in various training programs (as reported) for them.
I'm talking about hmm, automated assembly. I reckon in the space of a bedroom you could design a two stage reprogrammable build station for devices up to MacBook size, at least iPod, iPhone, iPad size. One "half" mills and recycles unibodies. The other half has hmm 4 robotic manipulators that assemble into the unibody.
You define a block size, say iPad but one iPad block is 9 iPhones/touch, 36 nanos and 54 shuffles. Better yet it is metal powder and it is similar to rapid prototyping, no waste and it can make all products.
Ultimately all CE devices will be printed in layers.
There is no reason not to innovate and lead the way. The shop becomes the plant. There are all sorts of unexplored cost effiencys. Take the aluminium. How many middlemen and transports occur from extraction to an iPad in store. On the scale of raw material Apple uses they could negotiate direct, skip all the intermediate steps and make as required. The in store unit turns a pallet of aluminum into whatever is required, in a launch phase it pumps out the hot item, otherwise it creates whatever devices is needed to restock, it would respond to what is selling in its store
Let alone starving future and existing competitors.