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View Diary: Apple and Foxconn to improve working conditions and hours (51 comments)

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  •  And of course none of that could be done here (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Native Light, randomfacts

    American employees aren't capable of reconfiguring production lines or meeting demands of varying products. And those other components can't be built here either. Well, they would cost more if the toxic waste disposal wasn't "dump it around back" so there's that aspect of it. Sorry, I'm not buying the Apple-washing excuses. This is a cheap PR stunt from Apple. The whole electronics industry needs an overhaul, and Apple has the means to make a real difference. If not them, who? If not now, when? Ooh, but the new iPad has a higher resolution screen! Shiny!

    "What profit a man, if he gain the world, but has to pay taxes on it?" Paul 8:36

    From the Gospel of St. Ron Paul in the Teachings and Misunderstandings of the Words of Adam Smith

    by ontheleftcoast on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 04:05:19 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  What? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      We're not just talking about Apple's production here. We're also talking about the manufacturing for all the component parts. Which Apple buys from other companies, who all have their manufacturing there. So, Samsung, Toshiba, LG, STMicroelectronics, WinTek, all those companies build their things there.  Instead of jus going and ordering parts from a factory a couple miles away, you're shipping stuff from across the globe. Instead of getting parts you need, say screws or whatever, from nearby in a day, you get them in a couple weeks.

      This isn't a simple thing with a single quick solution and one entity that can fix it all. The US gave up manufacturing of these kinds of products a long time ago, for a variety of reasons, and bring it back isn't a quick fix for a single company.

      •  Of course it's not a quick fix (0+ / 0-)

        But there are companies, companies without $100 billion in cash floating around, that are trying to do it. Early this year a company started making LCD monitors in the US. Apple deserves to be called out precisely because they are the one company in the nation that could make a difference on this front. If they gave a damn about American manufacturing they'd do it. Just throwing their hands up and saying "It's hard" means they're part of the problem, not part of the solution.

        "What profit a man, if he gain the world, but has to pay taxes on it?" Paul 8:36

        From the Gospel of St. Ron Paul in the Teachings and Misunderstandings of the Words of Adam Smith

        by ontheleftcoast on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 05:41:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Are the LCDs made in the US? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          drmonkey, where4art

          Maybe you should check your facts. I know of no US company with the technology or resources to manufacture large, high resolution LCDs and the investment in a factory to produce them is on the order of 2 Billion Dollars plus.

          I'm willing to bet they buy the LCD panels for Asian sources, where the industry is located.

          The US has a small handful of LCD plant manufacturing small displays for Military/Aerospace applications, and even most of those come from Japan.

          BYW, the Clinton Administrations program to revive LCD manufacturing in the US was a mis-guided, dismal failure since US LCD technology trailed Japanese by a decade by the time it started.

          As I noted up-tread, this is really not as simple as it seems.


          What about my Daughter's future?

          by koNko on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 06:02:11 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The reasons why many companies left the US is so (0+ / 0-)

            they can pollute the environment without being penalized.  Many countries in southeast Asia have no regulations or the regulation are not inforced.  The solvents used in the assembly of electrical components are very damaging to the environment.

      •  So how about (0+ / 0-)

        Shipping those component parts to the US and then making the ipads here?  Sooner or later, the elements have to cross the ocean, either as completed ipads or component parts.  

        Yes, it's not a quick fix, but if one of the arguments is that a company has to wait a couple of weeks for the parts, then the counter-argument is that the completed product is now days, perhaps hours, away from the consumer.

        •  Only about 1/3... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sky Net, Wham Bam

          ...of Apple's revenues come from the "Americas" -- which, of course includes much more than just the United States. And, in the long term, I would bet that Apple is looking for more growth in emerging markets other than the United States.

          I can't find numbers for this, but I'm pretty sure a substantial (probably a majority?) percentage of Apple employees ARE in the United States - and at high paying jobs (esp. engineering). Their manufacturing is, of course, contracted out so those are not their employees.

          If Apple were to centralize both their engineering and contract manufacturing in the United States, any other country that they sold product in could complain about the lack of local labor content just as vigorously as those who object to Apple contracting with Chinese companies for their manufacturing. Personally, I think the United States gets the good end of this deal by Apple keeping many of the high paid engineering jobs in the United States rather than shipping those jobs overseas and focusing on manufacturing in the United States.

          Although I'm no expert on manufacturing, there are likely good reasons to want to centralize manufacturing for a global product line in one geographical area. Centralization would likely simplify bringing new products up as engineers would not need to communicate and coordinate changes to multiple sites. It would likely increase the consistency of quality control. It would likely reduce supply chain costs. It would likely reduce training costs (one language etc...) and increase efficiency of knowledge transfer.

          As far as shipping the discrete parts to the US instead of the completed products, it seems to be a more difficult logistics problem. If a single shipment of critical chips required for every iPhone gets delayed, you can't build ANY iPhones until the shipment arrives. If a single shipment of completed iPhones gets delayed, the rest of the world/region still gets their iPhones - much less impact.

    •  Apple doesn't have the technology (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      where4art, billmosby, randomfacts

      They buy it. Apple is a fabless company. They design and market products, not manufacture them.

      Without strategic technology they get from non-American companies, they would not exist. Of course, they also depend on technology from American companies too (including their own), but, for example, those displays come from Japanese (Sharp) and Korean (LG) companies.

      LCDs were invented in the US but very few were ever produced there, this was technology developed primarily in Japan and then transplanted to Korea, Taiwan and China (low end small LCDs).

      If you really want to understand this, I suggest you read the book "We were burning" by Bob Johnstone, published 13 years ago, but long after the cows left the barn.

      What about my Daughter's future?

      by koNko on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 05:50:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  But they used to be... (0+ / 0-)

        ...a manufacturing company as well as a design and marketing house.   Like many of their competitors, they made the decision to get out of manufacturing and contract that work out.  

        Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

        by TexasTom on Sat Mar 31, 2012 at 10:21:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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