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Infographic: Apple Perfects Global Supply Chain

The iPhone 6 has been big news for consumers, who are anxious to get their hands on the newest tech toys and are debating the value of a larger screen size. In fact, the product introduction broke all records, with pre-orders hitting 4 million units in 24 hours.

However, the effort that went into putting out the newest Apple product, from idea and design into actual end product, is a fascinating supply chain story. This single product has the potential to impact the economies of entire nations. For example, the iPhone 6 release may increase Japan's electronics exports by 5% and Taiwan's by 8.6%, according to a recent infographic from CompareCamp.com.

What about the United States? Rumors have abounded about an iPhone made in the USA. The infographic provides some interesting statistics on that:

  • Bringing iPhone manufacturing to the US would cost Apple $4.2 billion.
  • A US-assembled iPhone would cost only $4 more than the current globally manufactured product.
  • Though the iPhone 6 is mainly assembled in China, Apple supports almost 600,000 jobs in the US.
  • The Chinese spent more than $1 billion on iPhone 6 assembly machines purchased in Japan.

Clearly, the US plays its part in the Apple supply chain, with design, development, sourcing, warehousing, and distribution all occurring there. However, manufacturing is planted firmly in China.

What can Apple's global supply chain teach other global manufacturers? Is an iPhone made in the USA important to consumers? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

— Hailey Lynne McKeefry, Editor in Chief, EBN Circle me on Google+ Follow me on Twitter Visit my LinkedIn page Friend me on Facebook

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14 comments on “Infographic: Apple Perfects Global Supply Chain

  1. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    September 19, 2014

    Clearly, demand for the newest iPhone outstripped even the most optimistic projections. People are lining up at phone carriers trying to get the product, there's a veritable swarm. Do you think that it is a ding to Apple's supply chain that they aren't able to meet the ramped up demand?

  2. Susan Fourtané
    September 20, 2014

    Hailey, 

    Super interesting and informative infographic. 🙂 

    I believe what is happening is all good. The fact that more people than expected pre-ordered either the iPhone 6, or the iPhone 6 Plus, or waited for hours before the stores opened, or are patiently waiting to buy theirs when everything calms down a bit is a good sign and a proof that no matter what Apple haters do right before every launch, or after the launch the fact is that Apple's phones are the best phones on the market and there are many people who are happy with the hardware, the design, and the iOS. 

    At Apple's flagship Fifth Avenue store in Manhattan a record 1,880 people in line at 8:00 AM, an increase of 33% over last year's line, was waiting on Friday. With such an unpredictable increase it's pretty undertsandable that the devices sold out so fast. It's all positive. Nothing negative about it. 😀

    -Susan

  3. _hm
    September 21, 2014

    That is all good for Apple.

    But Android is equally good. I like Samsung as I get them almost free with contract.

  4. simonfruen
    September 21, 2014

    We won't know what the commitments of Supply Chain to how many units to what country/region; so we will not know.  However I am trying to recall the numbers of units Motorola sold in the Razor days, it is comparable I remotely remember 50Mio in Q4 and many charter flights were used.  Your info graphic and our knowledge states that supplier challenges are more of an issue today; and the Global logsitics enviroment is recovering so there must be more challenges.  I also remember Razor shipped from Tanjin, Singapore and Flensberg so coverage is better (did they still have units shipping from Chicago?); so the challenges are much greater now.

  5. FLYINGSCOT
    September 22, 2014

    There has been a lot of pressure to onshore but when one reads the material presneted by you it is quite an eye opener.  The sheer scale of everything Apple does is quick mind boggling…….millions of handset orders in 24 hours…..what a nice problem to have.

  6. Ariella
    September 23, 2014

    Nice, though it would have been even better to give the pie chart an apple shape.

  7. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    September 25, 2014

    @Susan, I agree that more sales can never really be bad. I did go an order a new iPhone once the lines died down…and it will arrive in another five weeks or so. That's fine. It's not food or water…just a phone. I can wait. 🙂

  8. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    September 25, 2014

    @simonfruen, thanks for weighing in! You gave me a blast from the past: I still think the Motorola Razor was a phone ahead of its time. Think about it: sleek design, cool colors, robust and cool. I loved it. It was hard to give it up.

  9. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    September 25, 2014

    @Ariella, I like that idea! It had me looking for a “Like” button. 🙂

  10. Susan Fourtané
    September 26, 2014

    Hailey, 

    “I did go an order a new iPhone once the lines died down … “

    That's the smart thing to do, I believe. 🙂 Plus, when you get your phone the iOS 8 will be more stable. You end up winning. 

    There is no need to rush before the stores even open as if the world were to come to an end if you don't get a new phone on the first day it's been released.

    Every year when that happens I wonder if some of those people have kids at home and tell them they have to learn to wait for whatever thing the kids say they want “now.” :/ 

    So, you decided to upgrade your hardware when you saw it was too old for the new iOS? 🙂 Which one did you order 6, or 6Plus? 

    -Susan 

     

  11. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    September 29, 2014

    The lack of support for the new iOS was a primary driver for me… I ended up with a standard 6. The other one seemed to bulky to me. Really nearly a tablet.

  12. Susan Fourtané
    September 30, 2014

    Hailey, 

    When it's the hardware the one that needs an upgrade because it doesn't support the new iOS anymore is a good time for an upgrade. Probably I have said this before a hundred times. :/ 

    The size of the phone pretty much depends on your needs and preferences. Between the 6 and 6 Plus I would choose the 6 Plus. I think it's the perfect size between the 6 and the iPad mini. 😀 

    I recently got the iPad Air and need to send this Mac to Apple for recycling and upgrade my Mac to the MAcBook Air, or MacBook Retina. I don't know which one yet. :/  So I guess I will pass on the phone. Besides, I am not really phone friendly anymore since I went on my experiement. I try to avoid the two main functions of a phone: Calls and SMS. 

    It seems like a phone is a pointless deviece for my needs at the moment. iPads work the best for me in the mobile device space.

    If I get a nice keypboard for the iPad Air so I can comfortably have all the keyboard functions for writing I will be happy. 🙂

    -Susan 

  13. StephenGiderson
    August 30, 2018

    Honestly speaking, you could have all the manufacturing departments of your company elsewhere and still have a huge employment base in your headquarter country. You still need sales people and managers and business development and not to mention the tech guys who will actually come up with the plans and schematics of making things you know. It's not just factory production…

  14. PaulChau
    October 2, 2018

    Honestly speaking, you could have all the manufacturing departments of your company elsewhere and still have a huge employment base in your headquarter country. You still need sales people and managers and business development and not to mention the tech guys who will actually come up with the plans and schematics of making things you know. It's not just factory production…

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