Brad Wardell's views about technology, politics, religion, world affairs, and all sorts of politically incorrect topics.
Published on January 23, 2012 By Draginol In Mobile Tech

There’s been a lot of talk about the New York Times article on why Iphones are made in china.

If you haven’t read it, you can find the article here.

I was reading comments on Slashdot and it was apparent that most of them didn’t read the article. They assumed it was all because of “cheap labor”.

According to the article, it has more to do with the type of expertise that is readily available there – lots of people with mid level technical knowledge (i.e. people with say 2 year degree equivalents) that tend to get poo-pooed here in the US.

One thing that I found interesting was the number of people who place the blame on Apple for making these choices even as Americans outsource every day when they purchase products that say clearly “Made in China”.


Comments (Page 1)
on Jan 23, 2012

WTF, now I have to login to see that article?

I guess I better stop quoting an article with a link to it as I will probably be extradited.

Well I found it and I like the "flexibility, diligence and industrial skills of foreign workers"

flexibility = 80 hr work week
diligence = no bathroom breaks 
industrial skills = they can work a screw gun 

All while living in a dorm no better than prison conditions in Canada. No wonder there is nets to keep people from jumping.


on Jan 23, 2012

Read this yesterday:

http://www.newsobserver.com/2012/01/22/1796909/why-iphone-wont-be-made-in-usa.html

Best article I've read about it... the story of the iPhone and why China got it, and a certain dinner party in California.... and why those jobs won't be coming back.

What killed it for us is the availability of their labor, and skilled labor. Their flexibility and speed. Oh yes... and a government which funded the whole thing.

Reminds me of the Olympics and the Communist state funded athletes. The playing field isn't level...

on Jan 23, 2012

It still seems to me like it boils down to cheap labour, just the right kind. I mean, how many Americans would want that job, for that salary, working under those conditions, and had the skills necessary for it? Too few, obviously.

One thing that I found interesting was the number of people who place the blame on Apple for making these choices even as Americans outsource every day when they purchase products that say clearly “Made in China”.

Yup, pretty much. It is called eating the cake and having it. Purchasing power rules. But people are greedy, and want the "best" they can get for the lowest price. So other concerns like environment and working conditions go out the window. So very "economic man".

Hell, I just got the 4S in december myself. But you don't hear me whining about working conditions. Every now industrialized country in the world has gone through the same phase where massive manufacture output is bought with the sweat and blood of workers. China is no different, and it is no more abhorrent in China than anywhere else where it occurred.

I, for one, am glad to help out China's growing wages and its emerging middle class. And if I can get an excellent product while doing so, well, that's just a sealed deal, isn't it?

on Jan 23, 2012

By the way, when talking about Apple and Foxconn, it is always important to move the discussion above just pointing fingers at apple. Foxconn's other major customers: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foxconn#Major_customers 

You might recognize a few:

    Acer Inc. (Taiwan)
    Amazon.com (United States)
    Apple Inc. (United States)
    ASRock (Taiwan)
    Asus (Taiwan)
    Barnes & Noble (United States)
    Cisco (United States)
    Dell (United States)
    EVGA Corporation (United States)
    Hewlett-Packard (United States)
    Intel (United States)
    IBM (United States)
    Lenovo (China)
    Logitech (Switzerland)
    Microsoft (United States)
    MSI (Taiwan)
    Motorola (United States)
    Netgear (United States)
    Nintendo (Japan)
    Nokia (Finland)
    Panasonic (Japan)
    Philips (Netherlands)
    Sharp (Japan)
    Sony Ericsson (Japan/Sweden)
    Toshiba (Japan)
    Vizio (United States)

So let's at least be honest. This is not just Apple's conundrum. It is something that the entirety of US tech industry currently must face.

 

on Jan 23, 2012

According to the article, it has more to do with the type of expertise that is readily available there – lots of people with mid level technical knowledge (i.e. people with say 2 year degree equivalents) that tend to get poo-pooed here in the US.

What Doc said, "Oh yes... and a government which funded the whole thing."

I marvel every day at what it costs in this country to get a job.  When I was going to grade school, over half of my teachers didn't have actual college degrees--they had a 2-year teaching certificate they got at the regional teacher's school; now you have to have at least a bachelor's degree for that.  My late sister was an RN before she got sick and she got her degree at a 2-year technical school...now you have to have a bachelor's degree for that.  The job I'm doing now, (although it certainly doesn't pay what it did) I got into with just a high school degree, now you have to have an associate's degree and 2 year's of acute care experience just to make 6-cents-a-line.  Why are we demanding this sort of education AND experience, rather than giving out on-the-job training anymore?  The trend is for less government, and that equals less education, which ends up being more outsourcing to countries that provide either free or inexpensive education for THEIR people. 

This is not working for us--a person shouldn't have to get into thousands of dollars worth of debt just to get a job. 

on Jan 23, 2012

I'm really challenged by your post, Karen... as usual.

I think our current philosophy of education/training has to be altered to Professional training/Personal education... and degrees altered accordingly as well as tracks made for each, which need not necessarily be simultaneous nor as inflexible as they are now (or were when I was in college).

I also think we have to come up with a much better answer than our current one to elementary and secondary education such as the children being enabled to choose what they want to learn (within reason and with a basic core curriculum) and when. Full use of technology should be made, as well...

And they should be taught to type well.

on Jan 23, 2012

DrJBHL
And they should be taught to type well
Don't think I don't known who you are talking about.

on Jan 23, 2012

Zubaz
Don't think I don't known who you are talking about.

No typos?

OK, who are you, and what have you done with the REAL Zubaz? ...

on Jan 23, 2012

Zubaz
Don't think I don't known

It's Zubaz.

on Jan 23, 2012

Oh, heck.....

Call off the search!!!!!

on Jan 23, 2012

In the US, we couldn't do some of the things mentioned in those articles for almost any amount of money.

Part of it is a population density thing.  Where could a company here hire up 3000 engineers in a week?

 

on Jan 23, 2012

Perhaps, but they seem to be able to make cities pop up overnight as well... and have other needed parts 2 blocks away.

How can they have 3,000 engineers on pop-up as well? There's more afoot than population density... although that's tempting...

I think they are more mobile, too... more willing to relocate? Hell, how do they do it?

on Jan 23, 2012

Well, I couldn't care one bit if the iPhone is made in China and here is why. First off I am not a bleeding heart that is going to say its less jobs for us. They need to be made somewhere and there are reasons (some good) why they are not made in our back yard.

At one time I avoided buying anything from China. It was always equated with cheap. Not anymore. I can personally speak from experience after buying several things from China including an expensive watch, camera lens and yes even the iPhone that quality has not been a problem and in some cases I would argue better. Perhaps I am a cold hearted bastard but it is more important to me that when purchasing a product my hard earned money is buying quality and that the product is not going to let me down in the first month of using it. If that means buying something from China, Taiwan or even Munchkinland so be it.  

on Jan 23, 2012

I don't care what the reasons are as to why the iPhone is made in China. American based companies should build all their products, every aspect of them, in the US period! Maybe we would not have such a crappy economy right now if they would bring those jobs home where they belong.

on Jan 23, 2012


From what I've read on Apple's China factories they have workers commiting suicide and most of them work for practically slave labor. No excuse will really fly in my eyes other than they know that American's with low to mid level technical skills won't work for pennies like the Chinese will.

LightStar
I don't care what the reasons are as to why the iPhone is made in China. American based companies should build all their products, every aspect of them, in the US period! Maybe we would not have such a crappy economy right now if they would bring those jobs home where they belong.

Nail, on the head, smash!!! Well said, LightStar.

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