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

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  •  Only about 1/3... (2+ / 0-)
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    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.

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