Apple reportedly 'demands' 10% price cut from key iPad suppliers as orders increase

24

Comments

  • Reply 21 of 75
    bagmanbagman Posts: 349member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Inkling View Post


    In the mid-nineties I knew someone in parts acquisition at Boeing who was given a miserable task. Thinking perhaps like Apple is now thinking, Boeing ordered her to call up suppliers and tell them that Boeing would now be paying them 10% less for their products. Boeing's upper management no doubt thought it was being "oh so clever."



    Fast forward a decade and the business news was filled with Boeing's problems getting parts from their suppliers on time and up-to-spec. That's one of the key reasons why the 787 is being delayed for two years and more.



    Did those suppliers wait for the right moment to extract their revenge on Boeing? Perhaps. But it is also true that by cutting their income, Boeing also made it harder for those companies to upgrade their equipment and retain talented employees. Boeing was simply reaping what it had sown a decade earlier. And yes, when Boeing's woes began to multiply, there was probably little sympathy among those tightly squeezed suppliers--no good will it could call on.



    Much the same could happen with Apple's suppliers and assemblers. Keep in mind that there is often no decline in costs as demand rises. Increased demand can mean needing to build new factories and train new workers. Perhaps Apple should be paying more rather than less. It's growing muscle hasn't been matched by a larger heart.



    I've said this before in similar contexts, but I'll say it again. Success is as much a test of character as adversity. If you've always been greedy and a bully at heart, getting richer and more powerful will make that all the more obvious. Something has been going badly wrong at Apple since its market share began to grow rapidly half a decade ago. This is one of the unfortunate symptoms.



    --Michael W. Perry, author of Untangling Tolkien, Seattle



    There are actually so many new, and relatively untested, technologies involved in the 787 as to make your argument somewhat specious, but we certainly get your point. Hopefully, Apple recognizes what suppliers need to receive in order to prosper - it does Apple no good at all to drive a company out of business, but, in the technology arena, many competing suppliers reward the most cost efficient, and economies of scale drive down your costs - so Apple can reasonably expect to have costs reduced, based on volume. Tim Cook is a master of logistics, so I would expect that he has the expertise to walk this tightrope just fine, and his recently completed supply contracts seem to indicate he is doing just fine.
  • Reply 22 of 75
    joseph ljoseph l Posts: 197member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by addicted44 View Post


    Its a new contract. How hard is that to understand?





    Easy to understand.



    Difficult to cite even the merest scintilla of evidence that it is true.
  • Reply 23 of 75
    prof. peabodyprof. peabody Posts: 2,860member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by frugality View Post


    greed



    gotta love it....



    I think it's a bit nastier (and reflects more poorly on you), that this is the first thing you thought of.



    It isn't necessarily the only explanation after all.



    The first thing I thought of is that since Apple's profit margin is almost always a flat 30% regardless of product type or availability, the savings are likely aimed at getting a cheaper iPad in the hands of consumers, not more money in Apple's coffers.
  • Reply 24 of 75
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,318member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Inkling View Post


    In the mid-nineties I knew someone in parts acquisition at Boeing who was given a miserable task. Thinking perhaps like Apple is now thinking, Boeing ordered her to call up suppliers and tell them that Boeing would now be paying them 10% less for their products. Boeing's upper management no doubt thought it was being "oh so clever."



    Fast forward a decade and the business news was filled with Boeing's problems getting parts from their suppliers on time and up-to-spec. That's one of the key reasons why the 787 is being delayed for two years and more.



    Did those suppliers wait for the right moment to extract their revenge on Boeing? Perhaps. But it is also true that by cutting their income, Boeing also made it harder for those companies to upgrade their equipment and retain talented employees. Boeing was simply reaping what it had sown a decade earlier. And yes, when Boeing's woes began to multiply, there was probably little sympathy among those tightly squeezed suppliers--no good will it could call on.



    Much the same could happen with Apple's suppliers and assemblers. Keep in mind that there is often no decline in costs as demand rises. Increased demand can mean needing to build new factories and train new workers. Perhaps Apple should be paying more rather than less. It's growing muscle hasn't been matched by a larger heart.



    I've said this before in similar contexts, but I'll say it again. Success is as much a test of character as adversity. If you've always been greedy and a bully at heart, getting richer and more powerful will make that all the more obvious. Something has been going badly wrong at Apple since its market share began to grow rapidly half a decade ago. This is one of the unfortunate symptoms.



    --Michael W. Perry, author of Untangling Tolkien, Seattle



    With friends at Boeing, the key reason was design and implementation of new materials failing to meet requirements of the design is what slowed down the 787 roll out, not because they were waiting 2.5 years on a part. There were flaws in the design and materials chosen that were different from their past.
  • Reply 25 of 75
    esummersesummers Posts: 910member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post


    This is a pretty standard procedure in business. There are companies that squeeze manufacturers to the point where they aren't making any money.



    Sears, in its heyday, used to go to a small manufacturing company and say we need 500,000 widgits, what's the price? Say Ok, let the small company spend a ton of money buying new equipment, expanding the plant, hiring people, etc. and then come back the next year with a "suggested new price!" Usually, well below the original price. The small manufacturer was forced to accept it and basically was just wearing out their "new" equipment while Sears was sitting pretty.



    Walmart has a similar reputation.



    These companies also started making inferior parts to meet the newly negotiated pricing. Apple knows their supply chain pretty well. I don't think they would make demands on future orders that are not sustainable. Most likely the components are getting easier to make (higher yields) or the equipment investment for current generation parts has been met. This is typical for electronic components. This isn't quite the same situation because the component industry changes so fast that they need new equipment every year or two. Why not run the equipment for the old parts in to the ground?
  • Reply 26 of 75
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by frugality View Post


    greed



    gotta love it....





    Sure. You never bargain over money. Never look for sales, never ask for a raise. That would make you greedy.
  • Reply 27 of 75
    macrulezmacrulez Posts: 2,455member
    deleted
  • Reply 28 of 75
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post


    I'd tell them no. I'd be like what you want our stuff, pay our prices. Taking your business elsewhere? Ok, let me know how their inferior products work, like light leakage.



    Which may suggest a reason why you are where you are and Apple is where Apple is. These guys are probably selling everything they make because of Apple's business. Name any business where if you said "We'll buy your entire output for a 10% price cut." "Done!" is the response 9.9 out of ten times.



    No wants to leave money on the table.
  • Reply 29 of 75
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacRulez View Post


    Well said.



    When we used to hear stories like this about Microsoft, Mac fans would call it bullying.



    Now Apple is the new Microsoft, and fans give 'em a free pass....



    Apple is running companies out of business buy giving away software?

    Apple is bundling the browser to the OS?

    Apple is creating hidden APIs that make their stuff run faster, but doesn't give equal access to third parties?

    Apple is forcing HW vendors to sell their software in exchange for having access to their OS?



    All Apple is doing is what you and I do...negotiate over costs. I suspect that you've told Store X that Store Y has a cheaper price and you'll buy from Store X if they match it.

    I also suspect that you've negotiated your salary more than once.



    Well, I guess that's bullying!
  • Reply 30 of 75
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by frugality View Post


    greed



    gotta love it....



    And just a few forum posts back, everyone was celebrating Apple's $70 billion cash pile.
  • Reply 31 of 75
    srangersranger Posts: 469member
    Standard business, push vendor to edge and pull back just a little. This was perfected was perfected by GM many years ago. It is still used as an example in most sales negotiating classes to this day....



    Of course in this situation, I suspect that the vendors have the upper hand with supply disruptions cause by the disaster in Japan...



    I suspect ( do not know ) that this is a preemptive strike by Apple to prevent the vendors from raising the prices due to the disaster. Apple is trying to set the bracket for negotiation with the mind set that higher prices are not even going to be considered. If the vendors are smart ( and you can bet they are ) they will respond with. It will only be a small price increase....



    I find it amusing that most people always assume that the buyer ( Apple in this case ) has more power. In long term supply commitments, the seller often has more power then the buyer. I mean how many companies can product enough components ( with quality in tact) to keep Apple supplied? Obviously right now no one can or Apple would not have a backlog....
  • Reply 32 of 75
    allblueallblue Posts: 393member
    There is an obvious danger here if Apple pursue this strategy too aggressively. A big part of their brand and focus on 'user experience' has been the high quality threshold of their hardware. Of course there are failures, that's inevitable, but relatively not many people who buy an Apple gizmo have to return it because of component failure. If a supplier is pushed to the limit, there will be a temptation born of necessity to cut a few corners and risk increased failure levels just to maintain viability. That may lose them the Apple contract in the long term, but in the mean time Apple would be selling more duds. I would like to think that the Apple board would also look at leveraging their phenomenal success to reduce the percentage of failures as well as the cost per unit of production.
  • Reply 33 of 75
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,992member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Joseph L View Post


    Samsung to Apple: "Go pound sand. Try to sell more iPads without our parts! Good Luck!"



    Hey LG, you want to be Korea's number one component supplier?
  • Reply 34 of 75
    xsuxsu Posts: 401member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Joseph L View Post


    And now Apple? Great...



    Apple pre-pay the supplier for equipment and expansion. That's the difference.
  • Reply 35 of 75
    srangersranger Posts: 469member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hill60 View Post


    Hey LG, you want to be Korea's number one component supplier?



    And how long will it take LG to ramp up production to meet Apple's needs... This kind of production jump does not happen over night...
  • Reply 36 of 75
    xsuxsu Posts: 401member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hill60 View Post


    Hey LG, you want to be Korea's number one component supplier?



    LG to Samsung: HA, HA
  • Reply 37 of 75
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Bagman View Post


    Last time I checked my econ book, it said that when demand outstrips supply, the cost of the items go up accordingly. Only someone as strong as Apple can attempt to upend that truism, and have enough clout to back it up. Only Apple, having alternative suppliers, will keep this supply-side price creep in check (hopefully).



    Also, keeping other suppliers working (secretly) on the next iterations of the components, keeps the suppliers from raising the price through the roof, lest they get completely frozen out of the next great products.



    Yes, as someone else pointed out, this is NOT supply and demand. True the market as whole typically behaves this way. As demand for a limited amount of flash memory increases, prices increase, for example.



    This is between a manufacturer and a supplier. Apple says to Samsung (or whomever), if you give it to as at 85% the normal price, we'll buy 10 million from you. Samsung secures enormous, dependable business and Apple secures cheaper prices. Now, all Apple is doing is saying, "Look - we promise to buy 20 million more from you over the next 12 months if you give it to us at 75% instead."



    Kinda like Costco.
  • Reply 38 of 75
    macrulezmacrulez Posts: 2,455member
    deleted
  • Reply 39 of 75
    aaarrrggghaaarrrgggh Posts: 1,583member
    Apple paid a premium to bring additional capacity online quickly from their suppliers. They now want that premium back since they have expanded the market for their supplier's devices. They started out absorbing the margin, and now want to make their profit. Fair game.
  • Reply 40 of 75
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacRulez View Post


    Apple isn't in Redmond either.



    Let me help you out:

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/metaphor





    I never said every criticism from Mac fans against Microsoft was justified, just enjoying another day here in Doublestandardland.



    Give me a definition of double-standard while you are at it. All I see is price negotiations.
Sign In or Register to comment.