Apple investing record $10.5 billion in supply chain robots & machinery

24

Comments

  • Reply 21 of 79
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mixinmaster23 View Post



    Ok so this may sound incredibly dumb but why is apple investing 10 billion dollars in something it doesn't own what if these manufacturing companies use this investment against apple

     

    Apple own the machines (or in some cases when they lease them back at least until it is completly repaid), and they have binding contracts.

     

    Where it is very smart, is that for the cost of eating the investment, which they can afford, they get access and possibly exclusive access of the partner  expertise without paying the hefty premium normally associated with that. The partner benefit to not have any worry about financing insuring lower costs. It is a win/win situation only  a company with an enormous war chest can afford.

     

    To put things on perspective, Apple capex is almost the cost of the last US aircraft carrier, which is as investement the navy will pay in 12 years !  There is an article on Asymco about that.

  • Reply 22 of 79
    drblankdrblank Posts: 3,383member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Fake_William_Shatner View Post

     

    Good for Apple in investment -- but folks, this is the scary bit about our future as employed people on this planet. Using the Capitalist model, the chance for "shovel ready" jobs to allow you to eat is scarcer than Unicorn wings. Even with some education, you are going to have to be more and more educated to be useful, and perhaps the limits of education and affording education will run smack into the reality of what most people can do. Once you drop off of the "clear path" to opportunity, you may never be able to get you or your children back on it.

     

    Frankly; we have nothing in our society or government that resolves the issue of "replaced by a robot." And when the "singularity hits" -- where computers can be 'as smart as' the average person, nothing but some form of Socialism would be able to deal with the issue.

     

    If we stay on the same path; most of us are not able to be useful enough to justify feeding us. Much less the environment surviving a "10% year over year" growth model. Communism is not supportable due to corruption, and Capitalism manages corruption but cannot support people or ecosystems and runs into a physical limit when there are not more people to exploit or more resources to use.


    I don't know if you noticed, but in the MacPro mfg plant, each robotic system was "manned" by a human being.  And who makes these robotic systems? Other robots?  They still need people, it's just that robots lessen the number of people required to do menial jobs.  Apple's not the only one that's been using robots, nor will they be the last.  They STILL have human beings doing final assembly.  It's just that they want precision and consistency in the mfg of their products. Robots rarely make mistakes, plus they can better manage their flow of components because they know precisely how much product they go through on a daily basis.  It's actually quite interesting to see the entire process and have someone explain what/how they manage each step of the process from start to finish.

     

    This basically tells people that if you want to work, the minimum wage assembly jobs are still there, but it's better if you got a college education to man a robot rather than whining about it. I don't know what the job requirements are for being a robot operator, but I'm sure it's not a minimum wage job.  I think you would have to have maybe a mechanical engineering degree or some sort of related degree so when something happens or needs to be done with the robot, you aren't totally clueless.

     

    Actually, the internet alone changed the landscape of the job market probably more than companies like Apple mfg electronic components.

     

    People don't go to local retail stores as much as they did prior to the internet, which is why a lot of retail stores shut down.

  • Reply 23 of 79
    I look forward to the day I can buy both an Apple robot assistant and an iCar.
  • Reply 24 of 79
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mixinmaster23 View Post



    Ok so this may sound incredibly dumb but why is apple investing 10 billion dollars in something it doesn't own what if these manufacturing companies use this investment against apple

    I think the story indicates that Apple will be making the manufacturing plant. That's why the ticket price is so high.

     

    They already started to make the new Mac Pro "cylindrical" workstations here in the USA -- so in rebuttal to other comments here; yes, this does mean Apple is moving towards more manufacturing in the USA rather than just in China or South Korea. The cost difference in assembly is NOT the main reason they don't do it here -- it's procurement of the thousand and one electronic components. Either Apple is going to have components manufactured (unlikely) or they have better forecasting of needs and locked down arrangements with manufacturers to have them before they need them. Apple became masters at locking in contracts because that was how the PC industry like Dell and Compaq used to eat their lunch. Narrowing down the products they make and having large numbers helped them tremendously. Now Apple gets first pick on components and the other manufacturers have to scrounge for availability because none of them can equal the numbers (in one segment) for iPads, iPhones and laptops.

  • Reply 25 of 79
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,921member
    Hey Carl, this is where Apple should spend its money.
  • Reply 26 of 79

    I've heard that argument before of "people" having to manage the robots. Sure. But that also means that one person is replacing a dozen or more real people. The robot assembly isn't one person, one robot, so there is a huge reduction in number of workers.

     

    The computer increased US productivity per worker -- but that did NOT translate into increased wages. It translated into "efficiency" and profits for owners.

     

    Look, we've had decades to look at efficiency -- and just like "trickle down" -- it isn't a blessing for most people. That's where we have to have a society and government that forces an equitable arrangement.

     

    Right now, things are corrupt and breaking down, and they will continue on that course until broken. There is no mechanism to change that. Rich people do not go to jail and they write the laws now.

  • Reply 27 of 79
    Only a fake Shatner would promote socialism.
    An improved Capitalism is not Socialism. This kind of knee-jerk reaction to any thoughtful critique of the status quo serves no useful purpose.
  • Reply 28 of 79
    I think the story indicates that Apple will be making the manufacturing plant. That's why the ticket price is so high.

    They already started to make the new Mac Pro "cylindrical" workstations here in the USA -- so in rebuttal to other comments here; yes, this does mean Apple is moving towards more manufacturing in the USA rather than just in China or South Korea. The cost difference in assembly is NOT the main reason they don't do it here -- it's procurement of the thousand and one electronic components. Either Apple is going to have components manufactured (unlikely) or they have better forecasting of needs and locked down arrangements with manufacturers to have them before they need them. Apple became masters at locking in contracts because that was how the PC industry like Dell and Compaq used to eat their lunch. Narrowing down the products they make and having large numbers helped them tremendously. Now Apple gets first pick on components and the other manufacturers have to scrounge for availability because none of them can equal the numbers (in one segment) for iPads, iPhones and laptops.

    The Mac Pro involves potentially more customization from buyers and the numbers for manufacture will be far smaller than the numbers of iPads and iPhones or even iMacs.
  • Reply 29 of 79
    I do hope Shatner is right. I can't help but wonder what Apple gets out of this "gift" to other companies over and above the obvious improved efficiencies. Would love to read the contracts.
  • Reply 30 of 79
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post





    Only a fake Shatner would promote socialism.

     

    Only a fool would NOT promote socialism.

     

    I'm from Canada, BTW.

  • Reply 31 of 79
    Only a fool would NOT promote socialism.

    I'm from Canada, BTW.

    Only a Canadian would say something so foolish.
  • Reply 32 of 79
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post





    The Mac Pro involves potentially more customization from buyers and the numbers for manufacture will be far smaller than the numbers of iPads and iPhones or even iMacs.

    In the case of the Mac Pro, they've got a higher margin product -- so it's not the same as all the "iDevices." They'll be using robots as well and newer assembly plants can handle customization better.

     

    People are already building "3d Printers" at home -- so the age of manufacturing is going to go through drastic changes in the coming years.

     

    A lot of people really aren't thinking about the implications of "good robotics", automated manufacturing,  and possibly "human like" intelligence from computers in about 15 years or less. And as far as manufacturing, robots don't need to know or understand human speech - so the clock on that is a lot less than for the singularity.

     

    There's a bit of code out there now for interpreting human writing as "positive or negative." There's code for data mining to understand connections and the relative weightings of our relationships. The coming change in automating basic human abilities is so much larger than the change the Internet brought. So far, I see no leadership dealing with the issue, much less repairing the "controversies" which would be resolved with the New Deal from the 1950's when we didn't have most of these problems.

  • Reply 33 of 79
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post





    Only a Canadian would say something so foolish.

     

    I'm betting history will prove me right -- as it has so many times. You on the other hand, are probably gifted with selective memory, and will remember arguing that laissez-faire capitalism was failure and that everyone should have supported green technologies sooner.

     

    Regardless of what anyone says right now - they will all OF COURSE believe these things in the future. Already, we now know that nobody voted for George Bush.

  • Reply 34 of 79
    drblankdrblank Posts: 3,383member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Fake_William_Shatner View Post

     

     

    Only a fool would NOT promote socialism.

     

    I'm from Canada, BTW.


    It's how socialism is done. I'm for a system that takes the best of socialism and the best of capitalism and puts them together so it's not pure of either.  It's been proven time and time again that neither works in their purest form.  Our country just became TOO capitalistic and it needs to have more socialistic pressures to equal things out again.  But the capitalists get torqued off and bent out of shape when they don't get their way since they are usually whiney, spoiled, selfish people that promote crooked forms of capitalism.

     

    Companies will get rid of older, more experienced people that have increased their wages due to being in the work force gaining that experience, and then a lot of these companies lay people off when they get pressure from the institutional shareholders to increase profits, and then they rehire younger kids without that experience to do the same job (with a different job title) for less money.  There are a lot of experienced, educated people in their 40's and 50's that can't get jobs because they can't get work because kids with less experience are taking those positions over getting paid less money.

     

    I see that as a bigger problem.

     

    It's funny how a company will go through the hassle of hiring someone to make them a "valued" employee, yet be the first to turn on a dime and lay people off, when upper management makes mistakes. I'm surprised there wasn't a bunch of CEO's getting whacked due to ex-employees going postal over the past 12 years.  I think the labor laws need to be changed or enforced where if a person is to be let go or laid off, there needs to be some enforced rule where they have to rehire those people when there are openings unless the person has been fired, retired, or left on their own.   I thought there was that law, but apparently, they aren't enforced unless there is a Union behind those positions.

     

    These CEOs might want to stare in the mirror and ask themselves WHY are they are in the position of not making better profits and who  REALLY needs to lose their job?    

  • Reply 34 of 79

    Middle class america as we have known in this country for the last half decade is dead. The sooner people realize that the better. I know that and knew I had to make sure I got on the upswing to be in the new "middle class". They say the median income in america is 45-50k. I don't know a single person that makes that. I know plenty of people making 30k, I was one of them, and I know plenty of people making 70-85k. So there is the gap everyone talks about.

     

    As far manufacturing, coding is the new manufacturing of the 21st century. Coding jobs are becoming a dime a dozen. You can be on the "assembly line" all the way to being the "foreman" for coding. It's what the world drives on (no pun intended). That's why you see this huge push to teach kids coding at a young age.. it's the mass job market of the future.. well actually now. Demand for business, finance, engineers, will be consistent but for comp. sci, it's blowing up in demand.

     

    So to recap, middle class of ole is dead. Manufacturing is not what needs to be focused on, that battle is lost to robots. Focus on the new "manufacturing" which is coding. India & Europe are winning that one as far as I can see.

  • Reply 36 of 79
    newbeenewbee Posts: 2,055member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by muadibe View Post



    It is baffling how Wall Street knocks this incredible American company. Apple just seems to really have its act together.

    Not baffling at all .... as noted by my new signature.

  • Reply 37 of 79
    drblankdrblank Posts: 3,383member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by drewyboy View Post

     

    Middle class america as we have known in this country for the last half decade is dead. The sooner people realize that the better. I know that and knew I had to make sure I got on the upswing to be in the new "middle class". They say the median income in america is 45-50k. I don't know a single person that makes that. I know plenty of people making 30k, I was one of them, and I know plenty of people making 70-85k. So there is the gap everyone talks about.

     

    As far manufacturing, coding is the new manufacturing of the 21st century. Coding jobs are becoming a dime a dozen. You can be on the "assembly line" all the way to being the "foreman" for coding. It's what the world drives on (no pun intended). That's why you see this huge push to teach kids coding at a young age.. it's the mass job market of the future.. well actually now. Demand for business, finance, engineers, will be consistent but for comp. sci, it's blowing up in demand.

     

    So to recap, middle class of ole is dead. Manufacturing is not what needs to be focused on, that battle is lost to robots. Focus on the new "manufacturing" which is coding. India & Europe are winning that one as far as I can see.


    I think what someone thinks is middle class isn't and it's largely dependent on where they live.  I sat down and quickly devised what the different classes are and what their net worth is for each category.  See if you agree.

     

    Upper Upper Class  > $10 Billion

    Upper Class $1 Bil - $9.99 Billion

    Lower Upper Class $100 Mil to $999.99 Million

    Upper Middle Class $10 Mil to $99.99 Million

    Middle Class $1 Mil to $9.99 Million

    Lower Middle Class $100K to $999.99K

    Upper Lower Class $10K to $99.99K

    Lower Class $1K to $9.99K

    Lower Lower Class <$1K

     

    It's not necessarily how much one makes a year, it's more how much one is worth.  Some people invest money and are able to actually earn (on paper anyway) a large percentage of what they actually make.  If one invests monthly into a decent portfolio, it's possible that if nothing major goes wrong and that person is always working that after 20 years or so, you might actually make more money a year from your investment than you do from your yearly salary.  Most people don't know this and then there is the unfortunate problems that prevent us from always working which is what causes those trying to climb up the ladder get screwed along the way.

  • Reply 38 of 79
    bigpicsbigpics Posts: 1,397member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post

     

    This could mean Apple maybe looking to become less dependent on Chinese labor intensive manufacturing. In China you can not automate something which can be done by a human. I have been inside factories over there where is was automated but, they still had people sitting at stations pushing buttons to execute the task. I asked why they actually needed a person to press the button and they answer always has been because china labor law required it.

     

    If Apple heavily automates they may not be able to use this technology in China, since China is about putting people to work. Yeah we all know they use a vision system to match displays with cases on the iPhone 5, but a human can not do that task, as they said they system is looking at 700+ variables to determine the correct fit, a human can not do this. 


    It's the 21st Century equivalent of "featherbedding" - when union rules required that trains continue to have both an engineer and a "fireman" in the engine cab long after there was no wood or coal to shovel...



    ...and to many other labor situation rules, e.g., in the auto industry, when production line technology came along...



    As industrial unionism has helped put enough drag on many traditional industries that used to be located mainly in the US to erode the base of unionized industries (their power base and membership has moved to our arthereosclerotic public sector), the US is actually in a position to "right-size" the next generation of producing goods domestically.

     

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Fake_William_Shatner View Post

     

    Good for Apple in investment -- but folks, this is the scary bit about our future as employed people on this planet. Using the Capitalist model, the chance for "shovel ready" jobs to allow you to eat is scarcer than Unicorn wings. Even with some education, you are going to have to be more and more educated to be useful, and perhaps the limits of education and affording education will run smack into the reality of what most people can do. Once you drop off of the "clear path" to opportunity, you may never be able to get you or your children back on it.

     

    Frankly; we have nothing in our society or government that resolves the issue of "replaced by a robot." And when the "singularity hits" -- where computers can be 'as smart as' the average person, nothing but some form of Socialism would be able to deal with the issue.

     

    If we stay on the same path; most of us are not able to be useful enough to justify feeding us. Much less the environment surviving a "10% year over year" growth model. Communism is not supportable due to corruption, and Capitalism manages corruption but cannot support people or ecosystems and runs into a physical limit when there are not more people to exploit or more resources to use.


    Some new form of economic system will emerge in the wake of the robotics and AI revolutions - and (as has happened numerous times since 1800) large proportions of today's workplace segment will be displaced - however, if it's a workable one it won't be the discredited-by-experience 19th Century utopian socialism, nor "laissez-faire" capitalism (which, btw, has pretty much ceased to exist for large organizations around the world).....



    ...new times require new solutions and new thinking about sustainable - but not mega-government controlled - ways of producing wealth and making a share available to all.  

  • Reply 39 of 79
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by drblank View Post

     

    I think what someone thinks is middle class isn't and it's largely dependent on where they live.  I sat down and quickly devised what the different classes are and what their net worth is for each category.  See if you agree.

     

    Upper Upper Class  > $10 Billion

    Upper Class $1 Bil - $9.99 Billion

    Lower Upper Class $100 Mil to $999.99 Million

    Upper Middle Class $10 to $99.99 Million

    Middle Class $1 Mil to $9.99 Million

    Lower Middle Class $100K to $999.99K

    Upper Lower Class $10K to $99.99K

    Lower Class $1K to $9.99K

    Lower Lower Class <$1K

     

    It's not necessarily how much one makes a year, it's more how much one is worth.  Some people invest money and are able to actually earn (on paper anyway) a large percentage of what they actually make.  If one invests monthly into a decent portfolio, it's possible that if nothing major goes wrong and that person is always working that after 20 years or so, you might actually make more money a year from your investment than you do from your yearly salary.  Most people don't know this and then there is the unfortunate problems that prevent us from always working which is what causes those trying to climb up the ladder get screwed along the way.


    I should have clarified. I was more so talking about just annual income from pay wages. Now if we're talking net worth, I'd say drblank that those numbers are probably pretty stink'n close. But the question arises, what's the spread against the population w/ those numbers? I'd say in the USA it's clearly lopsided to Upper Lower Class and Low Middle class. And that's across all ages in the US. I know many people how are nearing or are in "retirement" age and hardly have much, if anything saved. I know I'm negative, but hey, I'm only a few years out of college and hammering away at student loans. I know that when retirement comes (which I personally don't believe in), I'm not going to be caught w/ my pants down.

  • Reply 40 of 79
    newbeenewbee Posts: 2,055member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ascii View Post

     

    Heh. Geniuses only change things within their field, and his isn't politics. But he might write a heartfelt editorial about the robots.


    polymath , such as Leonardo da Vinci, might disagree with you.

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