American components in Apple's iPhone supply chain graphically detailed

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
A report examining Apple's component supply chain and global manufacturing details the source of the parts, workers and assembly involved in building the company's devices.

iphone china
Source: Finances Online


Alex Hillsberg of Finances Online produced an infographic outlining the source of Apple's iPhone components, right down to the rare earth metals involved in manufacturing high tech parts from its display and speakers to its silicon and vibration motor.

"Most rare earth metals come from China," the report states, noting that 90 percent are mined in Inner Mongolia and China. The graphic also presents Apple's global workforce and depicts why Apple assembles most of its devices in China, emphasizing "fast, not cheep labor," as depicted in an excerpt of the infographic, above.

Hillsberg also draws attention to such rarely reported facts as Foxconn's production of 40 percent of the entire world's consumer electronics, including products from Amazon, Dell, HP Motorola, Nintendo, Nokia, Samsung and Sony.

Many reporters describe Foxconn as being an "Apple factory," particularly when describing suicides and industrial accidents that have occured there, even ones unrelated to the manufacturing of Apple products.

NBC Tim Cook
Source: NBC News


Apple's chief executive Tim Cook has in the past pointed attention to iPhone components made in the United States, stating in a 2012 interview with Brian Williams, "we?ve been working for years on doing more and more in the U.S. Next year, we?re going to do one of our existing Mac lines in the United States," a product he later revealed to be the Mac Pro.

Cook specifically noted Corning's 'Gorilla Glass' face for the iPhone as being manufactured in Kentucky and its A-series SoC processor manufactured at Samsung's Austin, Texas facility.

When asked about the labor costs involved with moving manufacturing back to the United States, Cook replied, "It?s not so much about the price as it is about the skills, etc. Over time, there are skills associated with manufacturing that have left the U.S.,? Cook said.

"The consumer electronics world was really never here," Cook stated. ?It?s not a matter of bringing it back, it?s a matter of starting it here."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 60
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member


    Where?


    Ok I found it.


  • Reply 2 of 60
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,187member


    There is nothing new or secret being divulged here.

  • Reply 3 of 60
    thedbathedba Posts: 475member
    While the fast labor infographic may be true, it's not as if China always had that advantage. Originally most of that manufacturing capability belonged to the US. That's because most of the engineering expertise was here.
    Over the years, as companies were seeking to maximize their profits, they started shipping much of that expertise over to China. At the same time, they lobbied Washington, to bring down the tarrifs for goods manufactured overseas. Over one generation, that manufacturing capability has now shifted over there. This has effectively gutted that same capability in the US.
    So to just blurt out that statistic, is a bit disigenuous IMO. They did not acquire that expertise, overnight through the holy spirit. US companies, gave it to them witht the full collaboration of US government.
  • Reply 4 of 60
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,047member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TheDBA View Post



    While the fast labor infographic may be true, it's not as if China always had that advantage. Originally most of that manufacturing capability belonged to the US. That's because most of the engineering expertise was here.

    Over the years, as companies were seeking to maximize their profits, they started shipping much of that expertise over to China. At the same time, they lobbied Washington, to bring down the tarrifs for goods manufactured overseas. Over one generation, that manufacturing capability has now shifted over there. This has effectively gutted that same capability in the US.

    So to just blurt out that statistic, is a bit disigenuous IMO. They did not acquire that expertise, overnight through the holy spirit. US companies, gave it to them witht the full collaboration of US government.


    I think your timetable is a bit wrong. The majority of electronics manufacturers have been overseas for more than 20 years. Most of the products I bought as a young adult were being built in Japan, not the US, and I just turned 60. China might have come later but I would guess the last TV or radio built in the US in any quantity was done in the 70's or at best 80's. Yes, a lot of stuff was designed her but the US has been out of the manufacturing loop for several decades. 


     


    Is this good? No, I'd like to see more construction performed in the US but I doubt it will happen because many Americans aren't willing to work the kind of hours necessary doing repetitive work that's required to bring a product to market that doesn't cost a million dollars. Most non-hispanic Americans aren't willing to do farm labor either, which is why they are "imported" into the US where there's plenty of fertile land and water to grow things. 

  • Reply 5 of 60
    ronboronbo Posts: 669member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TheDBA View Post



    While the fast labor infographic may be true, it's not as if China always had that advantage. Originally most of that manufacturing capability belonged to the US. That's because most of the engineering expertise was here.

    Over the years, as companies were seeking to maximize their profits, they started shipping much of that expertise over to China. At the same time, they lobbied Washington, to bring down the tarrifs for goods manufactured overseas. Over one generation, that manufacturing capability has now shifted over there. This has effectively gutted that same capability in the US.

    So to just blurt out that statistic, is a bit disigenuous IMO. They did not acquire that expertise, overnight through the holy spirit. US companies, gave it to them witht the full collaboration of US government.


    The "companies were seeking to maximize their profits" meme is biased. Companies didn't simply move manufacturing to China in order to maximize profits but also to lower prices. Marketplace domination could be had by a company producing a same or near-same quality item and lower cost. Maybe you keep some of that extra savings for yourself, but the main thing you're doing is just making sure you're the guy getting the sales to a price-conscious public. Government and companies had a role in things moving to China, but a public that didn't want to buy anything except the lowest price item had a bigger role.

  • Reply 6 of 60
    droidftwdroidftw Posts: 1,009member


    I always suspected Apple caught more flack for using Foxconn because they publicly defended Foxconn and said it's not a sweatshop.  For the other companies, it's the elephant in the room that they don't talk about.  To call it an Apple factory would certainly be incorrect, though.




    As far as manufacturing taking place in China not because of price but because that's where the skilled workers are, Cook is full of shit.

  • Reply 7 of 60
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member




    Originally Posted by DroidFTW View Post

    I always suspected Apple caught more flack for using Foxconn because they publicly defended Foxconn and said it's not a sweatshop. 


     


    Well… it's not.


     




    As far as manufacturing taking place in China not because of price but because that's where the skilled workers are, Cook is full of shit.




     


    Yep, you sure know better than him.

  • Reply 8 of 60
    The US economy is on life support because we are a consumer society, not a producer society. The last time the US produced products was no later than the mid 1960's. During WWII, the US had population of 100,000,000 and Detroit was the manufacturing center of the US, GM being called the engine of the war machine.

    During the 1960s, the US population was 150,000,000, and we put a man on the moon.

    Now at 330,000,000, the US produces sophistry, obesity, diabetes and imbeciles leading both governments and corporate enterprises, with few exceptions.

    Manufacturing is done overseas because the population is too stupid to do the jobs. There is no teacher of the 1960s generation who hasn't seen the increasing incompetence of the students they've been trying to instruct. Those left are those pushing paper on the stock market and in other financial industries, creating a wholly vaccous money based economy with nothing propping up the currency except speculation.
  • Reply 9 of 60

    Quote:


    Many reporters describe Foxconn as being an "Apple factory," particularly when describing suicides and industrial accidents that have occured there, even ones unrelated to the manufacturing of Apple products.



     


    Including this website! 

  • Reply 10 of 60

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by DroidFTW View Post


    As far as manufacturing taking place in China not because of price but because that's where the skilled workers are, Cook is full of shit.



    If anyone's full of it -- in your case, it's practically overflowing every single time you post [holds nose] -- it's you.


     


    Not only is he 100% right, he's talking about the whole ecosystem, including the component supply chain: he refers to "skills" and the "consumer electronics world" (not your narrow and moronic interpretation of "skilled workers").

  • Reply 11 of 60
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,154member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by DroidFTW View Post


    I always suspected Apple caught more flack for using Foxconn because they publicly defended Foxconn and said it's not a sweatshop.  For the other companies, it's the elephant in the room that they don't talk about.  To call it an Apple factory would certainly be incorrect, though.




    As far as manufacturing taking place in China not because of price but because that's where the skilled workers are, Cook is full of shit.



     


    No, he's not "completely full of shit". Price is a factor, but there are thousands of others, which makes manufacturing in China more efficient, practical, flexible, and robust.  Anyone with a shred of knowledge about basic global dynamics, or what it takes to develop and manufacture extremely complex products that sell in the hundreds of millions globally, would be able to admit this. You may need to hire hundreds, or thousands of workers on a moments notice. You may need to switch downstream suppliers, almost all of which are in China, and which provide the components for final manufacturing. All these things are currently impossible to do with anywhere NEAR the same speed and efficiency anywhere else. Apple can manufacture a niche product like the Mac Pro in the US, but the next iPhone? That's a pipe-dream, even if they were willing to raise their prices or cut their margins.  

  • Reply 12 of 60

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by DroidFTW View Post




    As far as manufacturing taking place in China not because of price but because that's where the skilled workers are, Cook is full of shit.



     


    Yep, skill labor without the Unions, US Human Resource Departments, US Regulations, US Healthcare, US Tax Laws, and basically just the US getting in the way of doing business. That coupled with increasing lazy workers who are increasing less educated. 


     


    Heck, Apple retail employees sue over a bag check and you wonder why anyone wants to do business in China? LOL 

  • Reply 13 of 60
    kdarlingkdarling Posts: 1,640member


    If a company intends to continue making products long term, then keeping the same employees and not having to retrain them makes more sense.  They settle down, grow roots and a community, and can participate in making the process better.


     


    The main reason "FAST" is brought up, is because Jobs would supposedly make last second changes.  (See graphic below from the same source.)    


     


    However, not only does that imply a poor design process, but the graphic is incorrect.  Glass was not a last minute decision... Jobs went to Corning about six months before the iPhone went on sale... and the glass supplier Corning DID come through, using American workers in Kentucky.  (*)


     


     



     


    The story about the workers that is probably referred to here, was supposedly that they had to remove the original plastic fronts from a bunch of already produced iPhones and replace it with the glass, but that doesn't make much sense either, if you recall how those sections were glued together.


     


    (*)  It's now made mostly overseas, but not back then.

  • Reply 14 of 60

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by KDarling View Post


    If a company intends to continue making products long term, then keeping the same employees and not having to retrain them makes more sense.  They settle down, grow roots and a community, and can participate in making the process better.


     


    The main reason "FAST" is brought up, is because Jobs would supposedly make last second changes.  (See graphic below from the same source.)    



    LOL. You really do love to make up bombastic stuff, don't you. 


     


    Why don't you name for us one consumer electronics company that does it differently than Apple does.

  • Reply 15 of 60
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    LOL. You really do love to make up bombastic stuff, don't you. 

    Why don't you name for us one consumer electronics company that does it differently than Apple does.
    Once again KDarlng telling us where Apple went wrong or poor choices they made. Because apparently he's smarter than Jobs, Cook and the rest of the lot at Apple. ;)
  • Reply 16 of 60
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,705member
    What is this article? Everyone knows Apple is a Chinese produced, suicide driving, child labor prison camp using, toxic waste polluting, tax evading, anti OS choice, unoriginal, beleaguered, greedy company. /s
  • Reply 17 of 60
    droidftwdroidftw Posts: 1,009member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Richard Getz View Post


     


    Yep, skill labor without the Unions, US Human Resource Departments, US Regulations, US Healthcare, US Tax Laws, and basically just the US getting in the way of doing business. That coupled with increasing lazy workers who are increasing less educated. 


     


    Heck, Apple retail employees sue over a bag check and you wonder why anyone wants to do business in China? LOL 



     


    You have a very valid point there.  Also glad to see you didn't resort to ad hominem as others chose to do.  I would agree that government regulations and unions are another big reason why assembly in China is more desirable to a corporation than the US.

  • Reply 18 of 60
    droidftwdroidftw Posts: 1,009member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


     


    Well… it's not.



     


    Well... it is.


     



    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


     


     


    Yep, you sure know better than him.


     




     


    Apparently so.

  • Reply 19 of 60
    thedbathedba Posts: 475member
    rob53 wrote: »
    I think your timetable is a bit wrong. The majority of electronics manufacturers have been overseas for more than 20 years. Most of the products I bought as a young adult were being built in Japan, not the US, and I just turned 60. China might have come later but I would guess the last TV or radio built in the US in any quantity was done in the 70's or at best 80's. Yes, a lot of stuff was designed her but the US has been out of the manufacturing loop for several decades. 

    Is this good? No, I'd like to see more construction performed in the US but I doubt it will happen because many Americans aren't willing to work the kind of hours necessary doing repetitive work that's required to bring a product to market that doesn't cost a million dollars. Most non-hispanic Americans aren't willing to do farm labor either, which is why they are "imported" into the US where there's plenty of fertile land and water to grow things. 
    We're not talking TV's and radios here but computers. Dell was still making computers here in the 90's and so was Apple. The move to China was happening when ans soon after the GATT talks in Seattle and bit later in Quebec City occured. What took place was that import tarrifs were eliminated and thus companies could freely manufacture their goods in Asia and ship them back home for sale. Around the same time, many help desk centers began their move to India. The reason has got nothing to do with lazy Americans but much lowered priced Indians.
  • Reply 20 of 60
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member




    Originally Posted by DroidFTW View Post

    Well it is. Apparently so.


     


    Is there a new competition going around; trolls competing to see who can make the most idiotic and/or wrong comment?

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