Apple is tentatively stepping into more manufacturing in the US

Posted:
in General Discussion
Apple is slowly adding more manufacturing sites in the United States with a focus on California, as it tries to shift more manufacturing out of China.

Apple Park headquarters
Apple Park headquarters


Apple released a supplier list for the fiscal year 2021, showing that 48 of its 180 suppliers have moved some operations to the US as of September 2021. The number was up from 25 suppliers in 2020.

Over 30 manufacturing sites were in California, compared with less than 10 in 2020.

Major suppliers such as Qualcomm, Foxconn, and Sony added more production sites in 2021, although the list doesn't mention which states they are located. These companies provide Apple with critical components such as modems, image sensors, and product assembly.

However, the supplier list doesn't mention how much business Apple does with each company or describe what they do. It also contains some errors, and actual numbers may be slightly different than official data.

Supplier officials say these factories tend to be small production lines for testing new products or service-related operations. However, they still play an important role in Apple's supply chain.

China remains the dominant country for Apple's supply chain, hosting approximately 150 out of its 180 suppliers. These suppliers are responsible for making chips, screens, camera parts, and motors.

Some suppliers have already extended production outside China, such as in Vietnam and India. For example, Apple started iPhone 14 production in India a few weeks after its release.

As of August 2022, Apple has tested production of the Apple Watch and MacBook Pro in Vietnam. Foxconn is also planning to invest $300 million to expand its North Vietnamese factory.

Officials say it's helpful to be near Apple's headquarters on certain occasions. Travel has been challenging between California and China since 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions, although Apple has tried to alleviate some of the burdens through live streaming.

The move is also good for Apple to show that it's working to bring more manufacturing to the US. In August, President Biden signed a law that brings over $50 billion in aid for companies to build semiconductor plants in the country.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 16
    danoxdanox Posts: 1,324member
    10 to 15 years time frame. Like building a cpu to replace Intel.
  • Reply 2 of 16
    Since China still hosting approximately 150 out of 180 suppliers, your conclusion that Apple tries to shift more manufacturing out of China seems an exaggeration or distortion from truth.
  • Reply 3 of 16
    thttht Posts: 4,613member
    Apple really needs to have independent supply chains and manufacturing bases in at least 2 places, preferably 3. They need to race, not ease into it, though I imagine the politics of it makes it untenable. 

    Global warming is making a lot of places unstable and will be even worse in the future. India, Vietnam, and southern China are all part of Himalayan plateau hydrological cycle, and many of the coastal areas are low lying. They will get the trifecta of, at best, unstable water sources, crazy heat stress and sea level rise. The two big river deltas in Vietnam may not get fresh water in a few decades as it will be sucked up upstream while sea level rise will salt all that valuable rice farmland in the deltas, if not outright flood.

    Not a good thing for stable economies and stable countries which are needed for a global enterprise assembling millions of complex electronics devices. Manufacturing bases need to move toward the poles, or if staying, become a closed loop system where water is recycled, power is generated on-site, and maybe even a localized food economy on-site. It’s a race, not a walk. 

    I’m sitting in an arm chair though, absent any realities or responsibilities. Hopeful Cook will set a trajectory for his successor to fly through. 
    FileMakerFellermuthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 16
    williamhwilliamh Posts: 869member
    tht said:
    Apple really needs to have independent supply chains and manufacturing bases in at least 2 places, preferably 3. They need to race, not ease into it, though I imagine the politics of it makes it untenable. 

    Global warming is making a lot of places unstable and will be even worse in the future. 
    I agree with the first part but I expect other factors will make this diversification necessary before global warming.  What do you think will be a problem first?  Sea level rise or Chinese invasion of Taiwan?
    entropyswatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 16
    thttht Posts: 4,613member
    williamh said:
    tht said:
    Apple really needs to have independent supply chains and manufacturing bases in at least 2 places, preferably 3. They need to race, not ease into it, though I imagine the politics of it makes it untenable. 

    Global warming is making a lot of places unstable and will be even worse in the future. 
    I agree with the first part but I expect other factors will make this diversification necessary before global warming.  What do you think will be a problem first?  Sea level rise or Chinese invasion of Taiwan?
    Definitely global warming, because I don't think China will invade short of a couple if scenarios. I think global warming is already driving bad outcomes. It's an insidious issue where heat stress subtly, mostly unknowingly, changes people's behavior, where they make decisions that they hope will make their lives better in a quicker manner. That's a recipe for dictatorships and autocracies, not the slow grind of democracies. Global warming is the ultimate long term multi-decadal shift in how we do things, and we humans don't do that, or do it well at all.

    China isn't going to invade Taiwan until there is a someone who makes it a de facto dictatorship, like Putin and Russia, and that dictator has lost their strategic senses in a narcissistic vortex. As it is, I think the party knows that invading serves no purpose other than to sacrifice the lives of young men for nothing, while putting their economy in a existential crisis. The other scenario is the US chooses not to defend Taiwan. As long the US prevents a total blockade of Taiwan and continually supplies them, invasion isn't tenable. Meanwhile, I think Foxconn, Pegatron, and TSMC is just going to keep on going, and other companies will pick up the slack. They'll just move the assembly elsewhere.
    FileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 16
    stevenozstevenoz Posts: 296member
    danox said:
    10 to 15 years time frame. Like building a cpu to replace Intel.
    I think it'll be much faster. Biden wants jobs in the USA.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 16
    Since China still hosting approximately 150 out of 180 suppliers, your conclusion that Apple tries to shift more manufacturing out of China seems an exaggeration or distortion from truth.
    You're assuming that suppliers with a presence in China do not also have a presence elsewhere.

    Also, if Apple is trying to "shift more manufacturing out of China" that implies that some has already shifted, and we see from the examples given in the article that this is indeed the case. "Making an attempt" is not the same as "has already achieved."
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 16

    stevenoz said:
    danox said:
    10 to 15 years time frame. Like building a cpu to replace Intel.
    I think it'll be much faster. Biden wants jobs in the USA.
    It's a complex system, though, with many interdependent parts. I think the timeframe's about right.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 16
    danoxdanox Posts: 1,324member
    williamh said:
    tht said:
    Apple really needs to have independent supply chains and manufacturing bases in at least 2 places, preferably 3. They need to race, not ease into it, though I imagine the politics of it makes it untenable. 

    Global warming is making a lot of places unstable and will be even worse in the future. 
    I agree with the first part but I expect other factors will make this diversification necessary before global warming.  What do you think will be a problem first?  Sea level rise or Chinese invasion of Taiwan?
    The Chinese are winning without firing a shot, sometime before the end of this century Taiwan and China will merge and the west will be dumbfounded like it was when Russia collapsed under Gorbachev……
  • Reply 10 of 16
    danoxdanox Posts: 1,324member
    stevenoz said:
    danox said:
    10 to 15 years time frame. Like building a cpu to replace Intel.
    I think it'll be much faster. Biden wants jobs in the USA.
    Dreaming can’t be done faster, see Tesla’s so-called takeover to many things to do and not enough time.
  • Reply 11 of 16
    Since China still hosting approximately 150 out of 180 suppliers, your conclusion that Apple tries to shift more manufacturing out of China seems an exaggeration or distortion from truth.
    You're assuming that suppliers with a presence in China do not also have a presence elsewhere.

    Also, if Apple is trying to "shift more manufacturing out of China" that implies that some has already shifted, and we see from the examples given in the article that this is indeed the case. "Making an attempt" is not the same as "has already achieved."
    You are confusing Apple with old timers like GE whose products seldom change over the years. Apple upgrades its products yearly when its suppliers make the parts better. 
  • Reply 12 of 16
    dewmedewme Posts: 4,529member
    It’s one thing to say that Apple should do this or do that with regard to manufacturing, but the reality is that Apple doesn’t own much of the manufacturing capacity that it needs to produce its products. Apple has to convince the manufacturers that it depends on to move their operations from one place to another. That is a whole lot harder than Apple unilaterally deciding where it wants factories that it owns to be located. Yes, Apple is putting a lot of money on the table, and they have a lot of clout, but I would imagine that some of the host countries where those factories are currently located are not going to help the factory owners pack up and leave without putting up a fight or resorting to stronger measures.

    We’re unfortunately deep into another political season and the TV commercials are filled with mind numbing ad after mind numbing ad about “bringing manufacturing jobs back to America” as if China “stole” them (we gave them away) and that all manufacturing jobs are interchangeable and a laid off steel mill worker is going to suddenly be assembling iPhones.

    I’m just saying that it’s one thing to chase after at the “coming back to America jobs” train that politicians are imagining and quite another thing to think about what happens if we actually catch that train. Who is going to pay to build those new factories and who is going to pay to train the workers needed to run those factories? Optimus robots? Our vocational and skills based training resources in the US are pretty weak compared to just about everywhere else and has anyone noticed all the “help wanted” signs that are now permanent fixtures in front of just about every business you pass by? 

    It took us about 30 years to get where we are with the eradication of manufacturing capability and capacity in the US. Why do we think doing a big “undo” on that process is going to happen overnight? Is there a nuclear Ctrl-Z that I’m unaware of?
    muthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 16
    entropysentropys Posts: 3,704member
    To California?

    obviously nothing critical.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 16
    sunman42sunman42 Posts: 191member
    danox said:
    williamh said:
    tht said:
    Apple really needs to have independent supply chains and manufacturing bases in at least 2 places, preferably 3. They need to race, not ease into it, though I imagine the politics of it makes it untenable. 

    Global warming is making a lot of places unstable and will be even worse in the future. 
    I agree with the first part but I expect other factors will make this diversification necessary before global warming.  What do you think will be a problem first?  Sea level rise or Chinese invasion of Taiwan?
    The Chinese are winning without firing a shot, sometime before the end of this century Taiwan and China will merge and the west will be dumbfounded like it was when Russia collapsed under Gorbachev……
    Sometime before the end of this century, Mr. Xi will be replaced by somebody else, and the east may be as dumbfounded as the Soviet Republics were when Gorbachev announced his policies of glasnost and perestroika.
  • Reply 15 of 16
    What happened to that foxconn facility in Wisconsin?  
  • Reply 16 of 16
    AppleZuluAppleZulu Posts: 1,440member
    dewme said:
    It’s one thing to say that Apple should do this or do that with regard to manufacturing, but the reality is that Apple doesn’t own much of the manufacturing capacity that it needs to produce its products. Apple has to convince the manufacturers that it depends on to move their operations from one place to another. That is a whole lot harder than Apple unilaterally deciding where it wants factories that it owns to be located. Yes, Apple is putting a lot of money on the table, and they have a lot of clout, but I would imagine that some of the host countries where those factories are currently located are not going to help the factory owners pack up and leave without putting up a fight or resorting to stronger measures.

    We’re unfortunately deep into another political season and the TV commercials are filled with mind numbing ad after mind numbing ad about “bringing manufacturing jobs back to America” as if China “stole” them (we gave them away) and that all manufacturing jobs are interchangeable and a laid off steel mill worker is going to suddenly be assembling iPhones.

    I’m just saying that it’s one thing to chase after at the “coming back to America jobs” train that politicians are imagining and quite another thing to think about what happens if we actually catch that train. Who is going to pay to build those new factories and who is going to pay to train the workers needed to run those factories? Optimus robots? Our vocational and skills based training resources in the US are pretty weak compared to just about everywhere else and has anyone noticed all the “help wanted” signs that are now permanent fixtures in front of just about every business you pass by? 

    It took us about 30 years to get where we are with the eradication of manufacturing capability and capacity in the US. Why do we think doing a big “undo” on that process is going to happen overnight? Is there a nuclear Ctrl-Z that I’m unaware of?
    The US did give that production capacity away. Now we’re realizing how much of a national security error that was. From the perspective of a company like Apple, it’s a serious vulnerability for the entire business. Production capacity in the US is likely to ramp up at an accelerating rate. 
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