The Apple & Foxconn story is dying out without a comment from the Chinese government. The story isn't over. Most of this will play out in a theater but that is not going to be in China because the government isn't really interested in the story.
Douglas, Even if Apple gets Foxconn wages to triple, the US company will stay make billions in profit. Current wages as reported by NBC News for Foxconn workers come to $1.78 per hour. Few workers in the U.S. will think they've struck the motherlode if they make $10 per hour.
And, as you indicated, all the smartphones are becoming in some ways generic. The idea Apple's ecosystem or Nokia's ecosystem or Google's Ecosystem is better than the competing system is becoming a failed argument. The ecosystem has become commoditized.
I think I read or heard that an IPhone cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $9.00 to manufacture. Even if the cost triple, won't Apple still make tons of money on each sale? I have the original IPad and just got rid of the original iPhone which I replaced with a Galaxy II Skyrocket Adroid phone from Samsung. All these phones will eventually mimick each other in features so the competitive nature of similar products will eventually determine market share for each competitor. The various Apps are becoming universal as well. There are just so many notepads or contact managers or PDF readers before you've been there, done that syndrome sets in.
Don't worry. A few rounds of mercury should help reduce awareness in American workers of all those pesky social issues, and increase their OCD-like attention to the most minute details of work. US workers will soon be ready to sleep on file boxes and silently obsess over completing assembly of a warehouse full of tablet cases before their lunch shift.
_hm, The situation is not Apple-specific. All the companies that manufacture with Foxconn have the same problem. However, Apple is the most visible company and is receiving the greater attention as a result.
You asked if the Apple changes will bring jobs back to the United States. I doubt it. The jobs Foxconn has won't be viable in the US or in other Western countries. At under $2 per hour, Foxconn's workers' pay wouldn't be considered living wage in the US. Plus, the dormitory condition won't be accepted here.
Rich, He's laughing in heaven (and his estate is ecstatic) that you bought an iPad. I didn't buy an iPad for a bunch of reasons, one of which is the price but also because there are alternatives that I am carefully considering. I like Apple products but won't buy any of them as part of a herd.
Barbara, I believe you have put your finger on the first symbiotic relationships in the history of the electronics industry. Apple cannot dump Foxconn and neither can Foxconn dump Apple without both parties suffering major harm. They'll figure out ways to get along and share extra costs. I predict, though, that Apple will go back to its old ways of transferring costs to suppliers and selling customers the "ecosystem experience." Why both suppliers and customers put up with it is the real puzzle.
EBN Dialogue enables and encourages you to participate in live chats with notable leaders and luminaries. Not only editors and journalists, but the entire EBN community is able to comment and ask questions. Listed below are upcoming and archived chats.
Thailand Stages a Comeback Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Microsoft Surface: Potential Winners & Losers What are the implications for the electronics industry supply chain of Microsoft Corp.'s decision to launch its own tablet PC? Join industry veteran and EE Times' systems and OEM expert Rick Merritt on Tuesday, July 3, at 12:00 pm EDT for a Live Chat on this subject.
Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Peter Drucker famously said "Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window." Yet in the razor's-edge world of electronics—with a lean supply chain and just-in-time demands—the need to know the future is vital.
While no one really can accurately predict the future, we can take guidance from another Drucker saying which is the best way to predict the future is to create it.
You've heard the saying "the No. 1 supply chain risk is your people." That hasn't always been the case. But today's complex global supply chain requires a new type of multitalented employee. It's one who understands, finance, marketing, economics, is savvy with technology, graceful with relationships and can think analytically.
Where are these people? Are universities properly preparing the next generation supply chain professionals? How do train your existing workforce for these new, demanding positions?
Brian Fuller, editor-in-chief of EBN, will lead a 60-minute Avnet Velocity panel discussion that will ask and answer these and other questions swirling around today's supply-chain talent challenges.