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More Foxconn trouble for Apple

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A Foxconn factory reportedly employing approximately 79,000 workers in Taiyuan was shut down after approximately 2000 workers were involved in a riot after security was observed beating one of the workers.

 

While there are surely many other companies being supplied by this factory, Apple's name was the only name tossed into the mix.

 

Does Apple need to look elsewhere for manufacturing than Foxconn? The Chinese manufacturer is not good for their image, and are notorious for mistreatment of their estimated 1 million employees. Where would Apple look for manufacturing muscle if not Foxconn? They can't really afford to have their name inserted in the articles every time there is trouble at Foxconn, but some might say that Apple is already synonymous with Foxconn...

 

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/technology-blog/rioting-sweeps-chinese-apple-iphone-5-factory-171230302.html

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I would prefer more of the assembly come back to the USA but Apple's major problem is they need to make so many devices that they don't have many options. They've already diversified to Pegatron and others. The Chinese government puts up all the money to train engineers, build factories, etc all on speculation that they might get an Apple order. Unless the US government engages in some .SOCIALISM. who is going to take on such a project?

 

I'm all for the government handing free engineering degree funding to anyone who wants one, funding construction of factories, etc to bring iPhone manufacturing here to the states. Let me know when that seems like a political possibility.

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I would prefer more of the assembly come back to the USA

 

Here, here! I would consider buying one if they did, and pay a $50 - $100 premium for it. :twitch:

 

Robert

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I'd certainly pay a $50 premium for a high-end smartphone if assembly was done in the US. I wonder how many hours assembly takes though...$50 might not be large enough to cover the cost delta between US and Chinese wages...though for putting together phones that's probably only semi-skilled labor.

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Well the assembly labor is already such a low portion of the overall cost it won't matter that much (and robot assembly can offset it somewhat).

 

My understanding of it is that in China they literally put thousands of engineers, production managers, etc through school, setup component supply chains, raw material forges, etc. They've built a massive infrastructure dedicated to producing parts. The amount of capital required to fund that requires a state bank willing to take massive losses for years until it can turn a profit... Exactly what the Chinese state bank does.

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A very good point. The Atlantic recently did a good article on how China has bankrolled these companies.

 

It's also worth noting that most of the big name computer and phone companies use Foxconn. Only Apple gets bashed about it, because any article about Apple instantly gets a million hits.

 

It also doesn't appear that Foxconn is really any worse than any other Chinese company. Here is one of the better articles I've seen by a sociologist that spent 10 years studying Chinese labor.

 

The only option might be to bring manufacturing back to north america. I wouldn't be surprised if Apple and other companies are looking into it. But it's the kind of massive worldwide logistical exercise that can't possibly happen quickly.

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Well if/when it comes back, it's going to be all robotic. If you can just upload a program and have thousands of robots churn out phones then why not? If anyone attempts it, I bet Apple would. They need more capacity in general and have the funds to invest.

 

Of course a lot of stuff is made here already - the Gorilla glass, their CPUs are made in Austin, TI supplies several chips, etc.

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