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 4)
on Jan 25, 2012

The only way is to put up trade barriers.

Lets think about that and let's say other countries do the same. Hm, so what about exports ? Oh...

on Jan 25, 2012

Alstein
Trade barriers are just holding off the inevitable.

Addressing income inequality is probably the fairest solution to maximize net social benefit.

I agree with the first part because the way trade is supposed to work is that it allows different countries to specialize at what they are good and trade for what they are bad at making, thus increasing the productivity and output of both countries. If America or any country were to descend in protectionism and stop trading it would start a trade war and the standard of living in that country would drop significantly. Protectionism = Bad. However personally I believe a country like China is something of a exception. It's not their low wages but the fact that they are a Communist country and they cheat in order maximize exports and minimize industrial imports. However I am going to stick to what I said earlier and predict that China is going to have some rough times in the future as some of their oh so wonderful command economy decisions bite them in the ass.

The second part of this is kinda vague. Wages are set in the market place due to supply and demand for labor. How exactly do you suggest income inequality be addressed?

on Jan 25, 2012

DsRaider
the fact that they are a Communist country

That is what the government still wants all to believe. China is not more 'communist' at all. Even not in the bad meaning of it. Same as with 'democracy' in most western countries btw. Looking at latest incidents here in Germany doesn't make me feel like I have any influence on any decisions made in my name for my country at all... 10 years from now we will have massive riots here on the streets also. I am very sure about that.

on Jan 25, 2012



That is what the government still wants all to believe. China is not more 'communist' at all.

does it really matter what label you apply to any particular government? It's the actions of that, or any, government that defines them.

how about, the Chinese form of government does not lend it self to be a global partner in business or the human rights of it's citizens. but then again most governments don't to some degree anyhow.

Alstein
I'm thinking 10-20 years. Just gotta have boomers start dying off.

thank you for the sincere wishs of long life and health (snot).

on Jan 25, 2012

DsRaider

Quoting Alstein, reply 42Trade barriers are just holding off the inevitable.

Addressing income inequality is probably the fairest solution to maximize net social benefit.

I agree with the first part because the way trade is supposed to work is that it allows different countries to specialize at what they are good and trade for what they are bad at making, thus increasing the productivity and output of both countries. If America or any country were to descend in protectionism and stop trading it would start a trade war and the standard of living in that country would drop significantly. Protectionism = Bad. However personally I believe a country like China is something of a exception. It's not their low wages but the fact that they are a Communist country and they cheat in order maximize exports and minimize industrial imports. However I am going to stick to what I said earlier and predict that China is going to have some rough times in the future as some of their oh so wonderful command economy decisions bite them in the ass.

The second part of this is kinda vague. Wages are set in the market place due to supply and demand for labor. How exactly do you suggest income inequality be addressed?

 

In raw terms, wealth transfers to compensate for the ability of the rich to "rent-seek" in a way the poor cannot.  Close tax loopholes (I'd prefer to get rid of all deductions, but keep progressive tax rates, while setting a 10-15% corporate tax rate, with deductions allowed only for income above $30k/yr and below $100k/yr to incentivize middle-class wages.  

 
Ultimately, why does capitalism exist?  It exists to benefit society.  When it harms society, it needs to be tweaked. 

 

Also, a strong emphasis on consumer rights, especially when it comes to local monopolies like phone and internet service.  The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Obama created would be great for this, though I'd give the spot to Clark Howard.   (who also suggested mostly the former idea)

 

 

on Jan 25, 2012

thank you for the sincere wishs of long life and health (snot).

gmc2...yes, that's what I thought...

These Generation ME kids think they have all the solutions to what was screwed up by the baby boomers...... just as we knew for damn sure what everyone before us got wrong.

Ain't nuthin' new in the world....other than youngsters....

[trick was/is....don't breed]...

on Jan 25, 2012

they have all the solutions to what was screwed up by the baby boomers......

Really? Here's a 'baby boomer'.... cheap, too.

on Jan 25, 2012

LightStar
This makes me want to puke: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/46121303/ns/business-us_business/#.TyAmtch-dss

Check out the other link off of that article that talks about "Why Apple can't make iPohones in the US.". Here's the link:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/46091572/ns/business-us_business/t/why-apple-says-it-cant-build-iphone-us/

Notice the name of the article at the top of the page says " Why Apple says it can't build an iPhone in the US ", but when you look at the name of the article as it appears in your tab it says " Why Apple Won't Make iPhones in the US ". Not that a possible typo means anything but I thought it was interesting to point out, not because Apple can't make iPhones in the US, but simply because it doesn't want to because of costs. Regardless of whatever excuse they put out to the public, that's the real reason and no amount of explanation will ever convince me otherwise. It's about money and profit, plain and simple.

If you read the second article I link to above it says that by Apple's own records that, and I quote, " Last year, it earned over $400,000 in profit per employee, more than Goldman Sachs, Exxon Mobil or Google. " . Now THAT makes me sick, and should make anyone who actually works for a living sick as well. Not because the company was so successful, but because they made that kind of money off of people's blood, sweat, and tears, to the point where a visible percentage of their work-force commits scuicide, and yet out of that 400K per person none of that profit is being given to the people who deserve it. They could have afforded to give every single employee they have a 25K bonus and STILL made a profit of 375K per person.

From my point of view having a large entity, be it a business or a government or even a person, making so much off the work and pain of others and not giving anything back....it might as well be slavery or feudalism, alive and thriving well in our so called "Civilization". There's nothing civilized in my eyes about people being so blatantly taken advantage of.

Apple could make iPhones here in the US. But they won't because of the so called staggering costs. They would supposedly have to pay to upgrade the factories here, pay to train workers, and of course the vast difference in pay scales and benefits between American workers and their Chinese counterparts.

Something else in the article really stood out to me. Here's another short excerpt.

" One former executive described how the company relied upon a Chinese factory to revamp iPhone manufacturing just weeks before the device was due on shelves. Apple had redesigned the iPhone’s screen at the last minute, forcing an assembly line overhaul. New screens began arriving at the plant near midnight.

A foreman immediately roused 8,000 workers inside the company’s dormitories, according to the executive. Each employee was given a biscuit and a cup of tea, guided to a workstation and within half an hour started a 12-hour shift fitting glass screens into beveled frames. Within 96 hours, the plant was producing over 10,000 iPhones a day. “The speed and flexibility is breathtaking,” the executive said. “There’s no American plant that can match that.” "

....Wow....fucking seriously? That makes me want to puke. Apple was able to redesign something and then get it on the production line because the workers live on site like animals. These might as well be "Work Camps" or "Prisons".

Another thing is you can't even blame the workers. It's not their fault. Like those of us in the work force here, they're just working to feed their families and themselves. They work because like most of us they don't really have any other choice. There are a lot of countries in the world where the working classes are blatantly taken advantage of and they're forced to work for almost nothing. Mexico, China, Korea, and so many others. The Governments of these countries don't really care about their people at all. They see them as an almost inexhaustible slave labor force because they are poor and will work for almost anything because even that small pittance the companies give them will help by feeding them or their loved ones. Those in power in the Governments who make the laws the poor must live and work by, and those who own the corporations who make the profit, are the only ones making real money in any of this.

on Jan 25, 2012

@RavenX  You can't blame Apple for doing what just about every other company are doing to mass produce goods. The actual problem relies on China's government itself. They allow the making of companies in China to put workers in those situations where they are making very little income six days of the week.

 

Right now China are on there "Spring Festival" (Chinese New Year) it is one of the major breaks that have each year. If Apple manufactured I-phones here in the US they would easily have to pay more money out of there pockets. Doing so would make I-phone prices sky rocket. Plus China advertises there country as mass producer markets.

 

Not everyone in China is slaving away at a machine but many people are just to provide for there families back at home. When I say back at home I mean that the majority of Chinese people never get to go home but live in crowded apartment facilities provided by the companies they work for.

 

If you really want to voice how you feel about Apples methods then don't buy there products, It's that easy. When someone does fork over there cash to a company they might not know it but they are supporting that companies business methods also.

on Jan 25, 2012

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

 

@ DrJBHL Part of the answer to it is China is training 3 times the number of engineers a year that America is, and that gap is growing. Even India has over taken America in numbers too.

on Jan 25, 2012

Computica
@RavenX  You can't blame Apple for doing what just about every other company are doing to mass produce goods. The actual problem relies on China's government itself. They allow the making of companies in China to put workers in those situations where they are making very little income six days of the week.

Right now China are on there "Spring Festival" (Chinese New Year) it is one of the major breaks that have each year. If Apple manufactured I-phones here in the US they would easily have to pay more money out of there pockets. Doing so would make I-phone prices sky rocket. Plus China advertises there country as mass producer markets.

Not everyone in China is slaving away at a machine but many people are just to provide for there families back at home. When I say back at home I mean that the majority of Chinese people never get to go home but live in crowded apartment facilities provided by the companies they work for.

If you really want to voice how you feel about Apples methods then don't buy there products, It's that easy. When someone does fork over there cash to a company they might not know it but they are supporting that companies business methods also.

Indeed that's all true. I don't blame Apple as much as I blame the systems that make what these companies do "ok" when it's not. I also don't own or want to own anything made by Apple. As for the prices skyrocketing, I'm not so sure. They definitely wouldn't be making 400K a year off of every employee, but I'm sure they could eat into that profit margin a bit, keep iPhones at the cost they are now, and still afford to bring those jobs back to the US while maintaining a profit to keep their business going.

If they were willing to make less profit they could afford to make iPhones in Siberia if they wanted or even the North Pole. It's all about their profits and the greed for more. It should be about taking care of the people, not the bottom line of how much money they can make off the people's work.

on Jan 25, 2012

Being greedy is sometimes the main motivation of some companies. Most people not only want to make bigger profits than last year but give themselves big bonuses also. You eventually would have to wonder what it all leads to if you own a company that didn't have any competition or was the top at its class.

 

I remember seeing a animated music video where this creatures were working in a factory production line. The entire world they lived in was depressing and dull and so were they. They would use these binocular devices (they were building in the factory) to feel happy. The boss of the factory was mean and angry, shouting at the workers to work harder. One day one of the workers decided to upgrade the device to an even better device. So he left the company and started selling the new new one. Eventually after growing his company big enough he started to become mean and angry. The video ended with one of his employees finding a way to make an even better device and leaving the company.

 

I can't remember what the song was called otherwise I would have posted it.

on Jan 25, 2012

Computica
Doing so would make I-phone prices sky rocket.

Apple profited around $10 billion (PROFIT) the last quarter. who's to say they are not already overpriced?

on Jan 25, 2012


Quoting Computica, reply 55Doing so would make I-phone prices sky rocket.

Apple profited around $10 billion (PROFIT) the last quarter. who's to say they are not already overpriced?

Oh they are. The thing is.. sure they could make it in the U.S. and not drastically increase their prices. But then that would reduce their profits. Lets be honest here.. its about profits. Despite what some apple fans might think... the company exists to make a profit. Increased costs always gets put on the consumer because companies are unwilling to accept a reduction of profits. Not making a judgement on it.. just pointing out how it is.

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