Brazilian billionaire hopes to court Apple for device assembly

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Comments

  • Reply 61 of 114
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Futuristic View Post


    Oh, geez. You're not one of those bleeding heart liberals, are you???



    I have to say, while the OLPC program looks good and noble on its face, I'm not convinced of its effectiveness. Perhaps I'm overly cynical, but programs like this tend to benefit the people who run them more than the people they're ostensibly designed to serve.



    I work with poor, rural communities on a daily basis, and I can tell you, technology is not the path to "salvation". The trouble with people who run OLPC and similar programs, is they have no concept of the importance and relevance of culture. They generally think, "If these poor people could see how AWESOME Western society and values are, they'll immediately see the light and turn their lives around, and poverty will disappear!" This is a very naïve and colonialist attitude.



    The truth is, there's a lot of money to be made buy creating technologies ostensibly designed to serve the poor. The companies that build the hardware will gain significant "positive" exposure in the press for their generosity, and will probably also get a lot of subsidies/grants/donations for the program, so it won't cost them very much at all to build the OLPCs. Microsoft also gets more exposure by becoming the de facto OS environment, so it's certainly in their interest to support such a program as well. The trouble is, those technologies are so far outside the cultural paradigm in which poor communities exist and function, that once the people who run the program leave, the technology is abandoned by the communities. I've seen high-tech water pumps break down, because the parts for them are so specialized that they can't be maintained locally. I've seen solar panels stripped for parts?the metal frames, wiring, etc., are useful in other applications. The same would be true with distributing laptops to poor, rural communities. It's simply not a sustainable investment, and doesn't fit into the cultural paradigm.



    The best and most effective way to serve the poor is to work within their cultural paradigm to help them gain a sense of dignity, a sense of empowerment?then, if they find their own need for computers, they can ask for them. But it has to be their choice.



    First: I have never been called a bleeding heart liberal!



    Second: I have owned a business and made a payroll.



    Third: I believe that I have an obligation to share some of the successes I have had -- and help others in the ways I can.



    The OLPC project was one of good intentions -- but soon became moribund with politics, egos, special interests.



    I have seen slums in Bed-Sty, Detroit, Lima, Torremolinos, Nogales, Ciudad Juarez, and the homeless in the streets and parks all over the USA...



    I do not pretend to have the answers!



    Back to OLPC!





    What I would like to see is a foundation to bring the benefits of technology * to the poor. IMO, that means take a hot product, in demand, and find a way for the underprivileged to exploit that demand to gain dignity and self-sufficiency.



    * to some the benefits of technology might be a meal, a vaccine -- to others it may be a job, an education, an opportunity to improve their life.



    I agree that there will always be others that divert the benefits to their own ends.



    However, that doesn't mean you don't try.



    I say that the abilities that can produce an iPad at a cost of $260, can be channeled to address the issues of the underprivileged.



    For example, hire some of them and ask them what needs to be done, and how -- to improve their lot. Let them, with some guidance, design the solutions -- with the opportunity to fail, and learn from their failure. Then go back again and try until they succeed.



    Then take that failure/success experience and make it into a deliverable that can be tailored and massively and efficiently deployed.



    I believe that, done properly, technology can help the underprivileged -- maybe introducing manufacturing and jobs where there were none is a good first step! But that is not enough, there must be a second, third step... potential for growth and self-realization.



    You help the poor by working with them -- not becoming one of them!



    /sermon



    .
  • Reply 62 of 114
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post


    That would be fine with me. It was AgitMD's anti-union comment that set me off. For most of the last century we had a strong manufacturing base with union labor AND low prices. Those jobs allowed our parents and grandparents to be the first generation to send their kids to college--a strong middle class. Then our greedy generation, not satisfied with the plenty we already had, boosted profits even more by shipping those jobs overseas.



    Pretty much sums it up. And those days will only start to return when we put aside political tribalism and realise those we put in power have every intention of keeping it that way.



    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/07/op...stof.html?_r=2



    I'm not really into politics but if you think between 1980 and 2005 parties of all persuasion have held power. It's the same here in the UK.
  • Reply 63 of 114
    technotechno Posts: 707member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by roos24 View Post


    the only place that apple should produce its products is here, at home in the usa.



    Enough already with sending labor overseas and 10% unemployment here, while letting wall street tell us how well we're doing! We need to produce everything, and then sell the products we make. The current situation is simply not sustainable.



    amen!
  • Reply 64 of 114
    Really? Who care's what this billionaire does with his privates. What about a Bushy Billionaire?
  • Reply 65 of 114
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post


    Oh yes, let's exploit our own workers by low-balling their salaries and denying them benefits. If China and others had real independent labor unions like ours there wouldn't be the sweat shops that keep the costs of our consumer goods so low.



    Yes, bring the jobs home, but make them good jobs that can allow a family to send their kids to college or trade schools, not just subsist in Appalachia.



    Indeed. And with Apple's absurd profit margins it wouldn't kill them to pay Americans a fair wage to build Apple products. It's not like they have to do that to compete with lower cost goods. I'm really surprised Apple is treated with kid gloves on this whole "build in China" thing. Seems greed is good for Apple, but not anywhere else in the US. The goodwill Apple would receive by brining home jobs would be substantial. It's overdue.
  • Reply 66 of 114
    technotechno Posts: 707member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post


    I am by no means an expert on this topic, but I'm fairly certain that it's not just the wages. The way the Chinese economy is set up, it would be cheaper by far to do an automated factory in China than the USA, so even if they could find a way to make an automated USA factory competitive with the current factories in China, if they transposed that new automated factory to China instead, then they would save even more.



    The reality is that these kind of jobs are *never* coming back to places like the USA/Canada/UK etc., and that this kind of job loss is more structural than situational.



    And that right there is one of the reasons the US is in the economic mess we are in. Greed. The profit is the most important driving decision maker with large companies now. Loyalty to workers and country do not exist any longer. Pension from a company? Are you kidding? A decent living wage? Sure! The US middle class has all but disappeared.



    There can be a balance between profit and corporate responsibility to the work force/country. Do we always have to make the most money possible? Apple is sitting on $46 Billion in cash. The top US companies are hoarding close to a Trillion Dollars in cash. I am sorry but I think Apple can build in the US and still make a profit.



    It is time for companies like Apple to help fix our country by putting Americans to work.
  • Reply 67 of 114
    As I said, I don't know the economics of it, but I certainly could imagine the GREAT PR it would get if Apple said tomorrow 'we are moving all our manufacturing jobs to the US' ! It would make a huge statement to the rest of the big businesses who are sitting on top of huge cash surpluses while millions of Americans are out of work. That kind of good PR would have to generate income down the road.[/QUOTE]





    It may or may not be good PR for Apple to produce products in the US. More than half of their products are sold outside the US. The non US markets are Apple's fastest growing. The United States is no longer the center of the universe.
  • Reply 68 of 114
    sheffsheff Posts: 1,407member
    I would much rather see manufacturing in Brazil as well. However apple is much too invested in Foxxcon to move.
  • Reply 69 of 114
    best idea I ever heard.
  • Reply 70 of 114
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Atanner View Post


    As I said, I don't know the economics of it, but I certainly could imagine the GREAT PR it would get if Apple said tomorrow 'we are moving all our manufacturing jobs to the US' ! It would make a huge statement to the rest of the big businesses who are sitting on top of huge cash surpluses while millions of Americans are out of work. That kind of good PR would have to generate income down the road.





    ok now THAT's the best idea I ever heard.
  • Reply 71 of 114
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,491member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AjitMD View Post


    How about investing in an automated assembly plant in the US? I am not talking about California, but there are other states where land is dirt cheap, labor costs are low with no unions. The states should be able to give tax brakes. Apple can lobby for accelerated depreciation for the plant or even expense a huge percentage.



    With automation and economies of scale, shorter supply lines, the cost structure could be competitive,



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by techno View Post


    I don't know the economics of this, but wouldn't it be nice if Apple actually manufactured it's products in California and a few other states? I am sure Californians could use it these days. And why not Kentucky? I would love to track my new MacBook Pro on it's journey from Hemit, California to Ontario International Airport and then to Montreal.



    As I said, I don't know the economics of it, but I certainly could imagine the GREAT PR it would get if Apple said tomorrow 'we are moving all our manufacturing jobs to the US' ! It would make a huge statement to the rest of the big businesses who are sitting on top of huge cash surpluses while millions of Americans are out of work. That kind of good PR would have to generate income down the road.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Roos24 View Post


    The only place that Apple should produce its products is here, at home in the USA.



    Enough already with sending labor overseas and 10% unemployment here, while letting Wall Street tell us how well we're doing! We need to produce everything, and then sell the products we make. The current situation is simply not sustainable.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Roos24 View Post


    Always the same answer.



    In Germany, people keep buying Mercedes and BMW at prices twice that of a comparable Lexus. Why? Because if they would buy a Lexus their money would leave the country and they would have to pay the unemployed in their own country. It's a double-edged sword. It works there, why would it not work here?



    While I agree that it would be great to produce Apple product in the U.S., as they originally did (in California), there's no way that could happen without a substantial increase in retail prices...probably double. Chinese workers are currently working for the equivalent of $135 a month. Even U.S. minimum wage would cost a lot more money. Furthermore, Chinese manufacturing works on very short margins. (And this is why I think pushing the Chinese to increase the value of their currency is a joke. Even if their currency doubled in value, it still wouldn't return any manufacturing to the U.S.)



    So the question becomes how much extra would you be willing to pay for Apple products if they were willing to return manufacturing to the U.S.? My view is that we live in a culture where people seek products at the lowest possible prices. People buy online from vendors who charge $5 less on $1000 products. People shop in WalMart or online to save a few bucks over keeping local businesses on Main Street viable. I don't think the American people are willing to pay more to keep manufacturing in the U.S. I don't even think they were willing to do this before the current poor economy.
  • Reply 72 of 114
    Instead of thinking in terms of closing down Foxconn and moving all Apple manufacture from China to the U.S., how about baby steps?



    1) A new, yet to be announced (or even thought about) product line. Start planning from the ground up for being completely made in the USA. If labor and other costs increase the MSRP too much, then subsidize it a little from the profits made on other Apple lines. For the good of the country.



    2) Move a smaller less technical current product such as the iPod Shuffle back here.



    Use either of the above as a proof-of-concept. An investment in Americas. Over time, costs may even out as China's wages and cost of living begin to rise. Hell, as an Apple stockholder I don't get any dividends anyway.
  • Reply 73 of 114
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post


    First: I have never been called a bleeding heart liberal!



    I've been told by various reliable sources that I am one, and I wear it proudly. It's why I do the work that I do.



    Quote:

    Third: I believe that I have an obligation to share some of the successes I have had -- and help others in the ways I can.



    Spoken like a true bleeding heart liberal!



    Quote:

    The OLPC project was one of good intentions -- but soon became moribund with politics, egos, special interests.



    I concur.



    Quote:

    I do not pretend to have the answers!



    I don't have any quick/easy answers either. Sigh. \



    Quote:

    What I would like to see is a foundation to bring the benefits of technology * to the poor. IMO, that means take a hot product, in demand, and find a way for the underprivileged to exploit that demand to gain dignity and self-sufficiency.



    * to some the benefits of technology might be a meal, a vaccine -- to others it may be a job, an education, an opportunity to improve their life.



    Computers and internet are definitely cool and useful in many contexts?particularly in most Western contexts. I use my computers to handle photos, videos and administrative tasks related to the work that I do, but that's really less than half of my work. Most involves working directly with the local people, in their context and environment. In fact, most of my "work" involves hanging out and chatting and gossiping with the rural people. That is the best way to find out what their needs are, and how to best meet those needs.



    Quote:

    I agree that there will always be others that divert the benefits to their own ends.



    The December 2004 tsunami brought the best and worst out of people?both of which I witnessed first hand.



    Quote:

    However, that doesn't mean you don't try.



    Exactly. I think it's important for everyone to do what they can. As you suggested earlier: I strongly feel that those who have, have some responsibility to those who have not.

    Quote:

    I say that the abilities that can produce an iPad at a cost of $260, can be channeled to address the issues of the underprivileged.



    For example, hire some of them and ask them what needs to be done, and how -- to improve their lot. Let them, with some guidance, design the solutions -- with the opportunity to fail, and learn from their failure. Then go back again and try until they succeed.



    Then take that failure/success experience and make it into a deliverable that can be tailored and massively and efficiently deployed.



    I believe that, done properly, technology can help the underprivileged -- maybe introducing manufacturing and jobs where there were none is a good first step! But that is not enough, there must be a second, third step... potential for growth and self-realization.



    I certainly understand and affirm the sentiment expressed. I'm just not convinced that an iPad is the answer. I think there are many, many things that need to happen in most poor/rural communities before high technology is introduced.



    Quote:

    You help the poor by working with them -- not becoming one of them!



    Right on!
  • Reply 74 of 114
    How is it that Intel makes their chips in the US and in other countries. It works for them, why not Apple and others?
  • Reply 75 of 114
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by techno View Post


    I don't know the economics of this, but wouldn't it be nice if Apple actually manufactured it's products in California and a few other states? I am sure Californians could use it these days. And why not Kentucky? I would love to track my new MacBook Pro on it's journey from Hemit, California to Ontario International Airport and then to Montreal.



    As I said, I don't know the economics of it, but I certainly could imagine the GREAT PR it would get if Apple said tomorrow 'we are moving all our manufacturing jobs to the US' ! It would make a huge statement to the rest of the big businesses who are sitting on top of huge cash surpluses while millions of Americans are out of work. That kind of good PR would have to generate income down the road.



    where in the United States are you going to find people working for the US equivalent of the Chinese wage? The cost of living (especially in CA) is so high that you simply cannot afford to live here on minimum wage (and factory workers in China get far less than even the cheapest labor in the US). Minimum wage in CA in $8.00/hr.. Chinese will work 2 DAYS for that.
  • Reply 76 of 114
    technotechno Posts: 707member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Atanner View Post


    It may or may not be good PR for Apple to produce products in the US. More than half of their products are sold outside the US. The non US markets are Apple's fastest growing. The United States is no longer the center of the universe.



    I am not implying that the US is the center of the universe. It is an American company though. I don't think making their products in their home country would upset anyone other than China.
  • Reply 77 of 114
    technotechno Posts: 707member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post


    While I agree that it would be great to produce Apple product in the U.S., as they originally did (in California), there's no way that could happen without a substantial increase in retail prices...probably double. Chinese workers are currently working for the equivalent of $135 a month. Even U.S. minimum wage would cost a lot more money. Furthermore, Chinese manufacturing works on very short margins. (And this is why I think pushing the Chinese to increase the value of their currency is a joke. Even if their currency doubled in value, it still wouldn't return any manufacturing to the U.S.)



    So the question becomes how much extra would you be willing to pay for Apple products if they were willing to return manufacturing to the U.S.? My view is that we live in a culture where people seek products at the lowest possible prices. People buy online from vendors who charge $5 less on $1000 products. People shop in WalMart or online to save a few bucks over keeping local businesses on Main Street viable. I don't think the American people are willing to pay more to keep manufacturing in the U.S. I don't even think they were willing to do this before the current poor economy.



    Well if this trend continues, there will be a lot of people in the US that can't buy those great products. Catch 22
  • Reply 78 of 114
    technotechno Posts: 707member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post


    Instead of thinking in terms of closing down Foxconn and moving all Apple manufacture from China to the U.S., how about baby steps?



    1) A new, yet to be announced (or even thought about) product line. Start planning from the ground up for being completely made in the USA. If labor and other costs increase the MSRP too much, then subsidize it a little from the profits made on other Apple lines. For the good of the country.



    2) Move a smaller less technical current product such as the iPod Shuffle back here.



    Use either of the above as a proof-of-concept. An investment in Americas. Over time, costs may even out as China's wages and cost of living begin to rise. Hell, as an Apple stockholder I don't get any dividends anyway.



    Now that is a reasonable compromise.
  • Reply 79 of 114
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post


    So the question becomes how much extra would you be willing to pay for Apple products if they were willing to return manufacturing to the U.S.?



    Apple can't just give money away, because it belongs to the shareholders so manufacturing in the US is not a viable option if all of their competitors are still using China. The only thing they could do is make the highest end products in the US and charge a fortune for them.



    Fender Guitar used to make cheap reproductions of their products in their Mexico factory and sell them for a fraction of the cost of a similar US made guitar. They both played and sounded fine but the pros always spent the extra cash for the original while the amateurs bought the cheap copies. It still said Fender on it along with Made in Mexico.



    If Apple did that, the wealthiest people in the world would finance bringing the jobs back to the US. Want a 200 gig iPhone with SD card slot, $2500.
  • Reply 80 of 114
    technotechno Posts: 707member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by milkmage View Post


    where in the United States are you going to find people working for the US equivalent of the Chinese wage? The cost of living (especially in CA) is so high that you simply cannot afford to live here on minimum wage (and factory workers in China get far less than even the cheapest labor in the US). Minimum wage in CA in $8.00/hr.. Chinese will work 2 DAYS for that.



    I believe you missed the point
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