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 5)
on Jan 25, 2012

Increased costs don't get passed on to the consumer in highly competitive markets, or with elastic goods.

 

It's the stuff that hasn't had a free market develop yet, or has had its free market broken by large corporations, that costs get passed onto the consumer.

on Jan 25, 2012

Alstein
Increased costs don't get passed on to the consumer in highly competitive markets, or with elastic goods.

It's the stuff that hasn't had a free market develop yet, or has had its free market broken by large corporations, that costs get passed onto the consumer.

Yep, in Apple's case it is because they do a great job differentiating their product, so they have little real competition. So in a sense they do earn those profits. Consumers don't have to buy overpriced Apple products, but they do. Apple does keep pushing the technological limits of handheld devices and coming out with great new stuff.

on Jan 26, 2012

Computica
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.

 

 

The very nature of large public corporations is that they are beholden to their shareholders.  Shareholders, as a general rule, want short-term profitability over everything else.   Also, large public corporations have no concern about whether society benefits from their decisions, outside of when the law makes them, or if it's profitable for them to care.

 

The real issue to me with Republicans is that they seem to think the government has little role in making large public megacorps care about anything other then profits as a general ideology. 

 

The problem with making them care too much though is that globalization allows for a race to the bottom on these issues.  You can always move things to countries that allow you to exploit left and right.

on Jan 26, 2012

um.. why do you need to be an "engineer" to stick bits of stuff on a board? it's just like lego. except it's more skilled, high tech, toxic, dodgy hours, crap pay (well.. pay is good compared to everyone else over there.... but different living standards)

 

(no.. haven't read the article. not registering or paying for news) <--- cookie issue

 

--

the other way of looking at things is that in usa, you have massive farms that uses massive machineries to achieve scale advantage (nevermind the gm/hormones, etc stuff, which gives even more, though can be banned by other countries), compared to tiny plots of land that are farmed by lots of families in other places of the world... which doesn't give such yields and are thus "disadvantaged" compared to usa.

 

it's just a case of not investing in higher tech (robotics) things to do it the us way and try to do things cheaply.

on Jan 26, 2012

You worry too much, people. We are running out of resources, global oil production decline is coming around 2015

http://www.theoildrum.com/node/8797

fish are eaten, drinkable water will be in short supply soon too, and world's population is steadily growing. The jaws of the famous Malthusian trap (1. all people need to eat, 2. all people want to have babies) will soon bite off a sizable chunk of world's population, and we will return to numbers sustainable before the industrial revolution worldwide - that is one billion people max globally.

Will it hurt? You bet. Could it have been averted? Probably, but not in a world where greed is an official state doctrine and laws just create a playground for it to eat whatever is there to be eaten. We would have to restrain ourselves, choose rational, restrained moderation instead of unsatiable consumption and excess. We would also have to try and educate those without access of information or lack of processing power to connect the data.

We chose not to. Soon, the laws of physics will respond with natural, unregulated, "laizess faire" correction - a die-off of massive proportions.

Who will survive? Those who usually do. The aggressive, the greedy, the remorseless, the strong, the brutal and the simple ones. The survivors. They will build a new world on the ruins of this one, as barbaric German tribes did on the ruins of Rome. I hope I won't live to see it.

 

on Jan 29, 2012

tazgecko
We are going through the same thing down here. The mining industry is complaining about not having enough skill workers, but are not prepared to train the workers. The will import workers from other countries before they put in the time to train someone. It's a lazy, faster way to have a flexible workforce. Good in the short term, hurts Australia in the long term.

 

It's the same all over the Western hemisphere. Wages in Switzerland have stagnated or gone down, while house/flat-renting/buying has become almost un-affordable just because our politicians have opened our borders to the whole of the EU. The reason behind this was of course the lobbying of our economy who cried for "qualified" labour, claiming that there wasn't enough of them in Switzerland. At the same time they introduced a so called "numerus clausus" (only the ones with the highest mark get in) at our Universities, which of course discriminates Swiss-Students, as our high-school level is way above the levels in the surrounding countries (it is much harder to get into high-school here - and to get good marks - than everywhere else).

Now 200 People (a whole lot of them without any education at all) are immigrating every single day into a country that is smaller than Tasmania, has already a population of 8 Million! (25% of which are non-Swiss) and which has a land-mass mostly consisting of steep mountains and lakes. This results in a very high population-density, the aforementioned impacts on wages and housing, as well as in increasing unemployment. To conceal the latter, unemployed people are forced into disability-rent, social-services, useless schooling and "work-programs", since all of these miraculously don't show up as unemployed anymore.

 

If this keeps going on (an our politicians don't seem to take the surveys seriously which say that 70% of the Swiss people have enough and wan't to stop immigration immediately), I predict social riots if not civil war 

on Jan 29, 2012

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

I'm doing my bit.

on Jan 29, 2012

Island Dog
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/26/business/ieconomy-apples-ipad-and-the-human-costs-for-workers-in-china.html?_r=3&pagewanted=all

1. http://drjbhl.joeuser.com/article/408791/Is_your_job_THIS_bad

2. http://drjbhl.joeuser.com/article/408882/Follow_Up_Is_your_job_THIS_Bad

 

Apple does what every company is supposed to do: They make money. They make as much as they can. Do they care how? Maybe... or maybe their "Quality Assurance" program is a "do your best to fix it" type deal where problems of deviating from Apple's contract standards are reported/found, reviewed and remedial action demanded... just how much improvement and over how much time? Is it real? Is it "plausible deniability" and cover-up?

Do business with the devil, and there's hell to pay. Does Apple really think they're getting away with it?

Yup... all the way to the bank:

"Apple Reports First Quarter Results

Highest Quarterly Revenue and Earnings Ever

All-Time Record iPhone, iPad and Mac Sales 

CUPERTINO, California—January 24, 2012—Apple® today announced financial results for its fiscal 2012 first quarter which spanned 14 weeks and ended December 31, 2011. The Company posted record quarterly revenue of $46.33 billion and record quarterly net profit of $13.06 billion, or $13.87 per diluted share. These results compare to revenue of $26.74 billion and net quarterly profit of $6 billion, or $6.43 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 44.7 percent compared to 38.5 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 58 percent of the quarter’s revenue.

The Company sold 37.04 million iPhones in the quarter, representing 128 percent unit growth over the year-ago quarter. Apple sold 15.43 million iPads during the quarter, a 111 percent unit increase over the year-ago quarter. The Company sold 5.2 million Macs during the quarter, a 26 percent unit increase over the year-ago quarter. Apple sold 15.4 million iPods, a 21 percent unit decline from the year-ago quarter.

“We’re thrilled with our outstanding results and record-breaking sales of iPhones, iPads and Macs,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “Apple’s momentum is incredibly strong, and we have some amazing new products in the pipeline.”

“We are very happy to have generated over $17.5 billion in cash flow from operations during the December quarter,” said Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s CFO. “Looking ahead to the second fiscal quarter of 2012, which will span 13 weeks, we expect revenue of about $32.5 billion and we expect diluted earnings per share of about $8.50.” 

http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2012/01/24Apple-Reports-First-Quarter-Results.html

 

I can't help but wonder how many investors really care how the profit was made as they stroll and drive listening to their "tunes" on their way to their banks?

I bought my iPad before I learned of the conditions those workers live (and die) under.

I do know that when I turn my iPad on, I get a slightly bilious feeling while I wonder how much I contributed to a person's misery or death.

on Jan 29, 2012

But what about all the other companies that use those types of worker conditions (or even the same factories)?

on Jan 29, 2012

StevenAus
But what about all the other companies that use those types of worker conditions (or even the same factories)?

Same.... sickening.

on Jan 29, 2012

DrJBHL
I can't help but wonder how many investors really care how the profit was made as they stroll and drive listening to their "tunes" on their way to their banks?

 

I don't think they care even the slightes bit. They are problably planning in their minds on how to move the factory to North-China or Kambodia when they stroll to the bank, as they feel that the workers in South-China demand too much and that they (the investors) have not made as much money this year as they could have if only they wouldn't have to pay these South-Chinese those exorbitant high wages...... Some other companies have made this step already.

on Jan 29, 2012

Another one you wont see on the MSM because Whirlpool advertises there.

on Jan 29, 2012

How many iPhones & iPads do you think would have sold at $1,000 a phone & $1,500 an iPad?

How is that the Empire State Building, the Golden Gate Bridge and Hoover Dam were built in a span of 7 years in the middle of the Great Depression?

on Jan 29, 2012

How many iPhones & iPads do you think would have sold at $1,000 a phone & $1,500 an iPad?

It probably matters less than you'd think since most people get contracts that subsidize the hardware.