Readers’ Choice 2013: Apple Lessons, Chinese Counterfeiting, 4D Printing

What a year 2013 was for the supply and design chains!

In this piece, EBN showcases its most-read 15 pieces of content as we review 2013. Apple surely grabbed the attention of readers this year, whether it was in anticipation of upcoming announcements, competition, or its impact on the supply chain, counterfeiting, logistics, 4D printing, and capacity also made supply and design chain folks take notice

Take a look back at 2013 — what the year brought and what your peers were reading and commenting on — with this collection of the 15 most-clicked-on pieces of EBN content.

  1. Apple’s Next Big Thing Will Be Huge
    The next Apple product must be as stunning and market redefining as the iPhone to retain the company's magic.
  2. Forget Apple, Corning Has the Real News
    If it hasn't made your technology news radar, it should have: Samsung is buying a share in Corning… and Apple should be concerned.
  3. New Ships Can Carry 22,000 Containers
    Increasing carrying capacity with giant oceangoing freighters can reduce shipping cost per 20-foot container by as much as 40 percent.
  4. Apple’s Latest Supply Chain Headache: Foxconn
    Reports are swirling that the consumer electronics giant has returned at least 5 million iPhones to its Chinese manufacturing partner.
  5. Fight Chinese Counterfeiting? Forget It
    All the lobbying in the world won't stop Chinese counterfeiting, according to one semiconductor CEO.
  6. The Stigma of Chinese Brands
    Americans, many of whom cannot name a Chinese brand, say they wouldn't knowingly buy Chinese products.
  7. Foundry Model Challenges Intel
    Always known as a chip manufacturer, Intel is making moves into offering excess capacity to others. That may prove a challenging transition.
  8. Apple iPad: iThink iWon’t Upgrade
    There aren't a lot of compelling reasons to upgrade from today's iPad — or other devices for that matter.
  9. Betting on Analytics as Supply Chain’s Next Big Thing
    A necessary foundation for moving efficiently at real-time speed, supply-chain analytics is still very much at the beginning stages of development at many companies.
  10. Africa: The New China
    IBM has been in Africa for more than 60 years, but last year it decided to get serious about the region.
  11. Can Samsung Overtake Apple in 2013?
    Apple needs to look at Samsung and learn. How weird is that?
  12. GlobalFoundries Rumored to Get a Bite of Apple Chip Business
    The stars seem to be aligning for the second largest foundry in the world to get the attention of Apple manufacturing.
  13. Jerry Fishman’s Lasting Legacy at Analog Devices  
    Analog Devices CEO Jerry Fishman died suddenly at the age of 67, but his legacy for ADI and the industry will linger
  14. 4D Printing & The Future of Manufacturing
    4D printing will bring manufacturing to the next level. Let's talk about how the electronics sector might benefit.
  15. Top 10 Strategic Tech Trends for 201
  16. From mobile device integration to 3D printing to smart machines and more, Gartner lays out its top 10 strategic technology trends for 2014, where savvy members of the electronics supply chain will see opportunities.

All of us here at EBN want to wish you a very happy New Year. Let us know in comments about what compelling topics are on your radar for 2014!

25 comments on “Readers’ Choice 2013: Apple Lessons, Chinese Counterfeiting, 4D Printing

  1. Ashu001
    December 31, 2013


    This one (to me personally) sounds like a No-Brainer.

    Its The very fact that Containerization(and Better Quality of it) which makes a massive-massive Difference to Supply Chains Globally.

    If you can increase their Efficency by say 15-18% you will be able to Achieve a Significant Deal of Success.

    As far as Apple are concerned;It feels good to know that its the most frequently hacked system by the NSA currently.

    So much for Better “Security via Apple”.


  2. ITempire
    December 31, 2013

    Suzanne, I really feel bad for the Chinese. No matter how much they improve quality of their products, their reputation is that of a secondary quality manufacturer. However, despite their reputation, their cost advantage has attracted a lot of investment in their country. Every big manufacturer of electronics has some sort of manufacturing arrangement in China if not all.

  3. ITempire
    December 31, 2013

    From electronic devices' point of view, I would like to see how tablets position themselves between smartphones and laptops. Also, in 2014 I would like to see whether Africa starts developing it into investors' new China or it still requires few years to flourish as such.

  4. Nemos
    December 31, 2013

    I would like to comment the Number 1 and number 10 :

    N1 : I could not agree more with this statement, everybodyis waiting for the next big product from Apple and with that move the company will consolidate its place.

    N2 : I would like to see that but I hope the companies will help to reform Africa and not to destroy the Countries (pollution, etc.).

  5. Adeniji Kayode
    December 31, 2013

    @wasqasAltaf, The season Africa would meet your expectation on that is approaching but not fast approaching. There are still more hurdles for Africa to cross before she can finally arrive.

  6. Nemos
    December 31, 2013

    Africa is not like China and we must be very careful with our moves. I can understand the main reason of this move (cheap products) but the point would be to respect the new land and not to destroy it.

  7. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    December 31, 2013

    @WaqasAlaf, the IT security realities today (which often center around hackers in china) further give china a bad reputation. It's going to be a hard one to shake off.

  8. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    December 31, 2013

    How well african countries move forward on the conflct mineral front will be crucial. I'm sure we'll be writing about and talking about that a lot more.

  9. Susan Fourtané
    January 1, 2014


    What a nice compilation! 🙂 I have to add that in 2014 there are going to be even more exciting news in the 4D printing field. Stay tuned. 😀 


  10. _hm
    January 2, 2014

    2014 should see design, manufacturing returning to USA and helping reduce unemployment. Google, Apple, GE and other will be main contributors.


  11. Daniel
    January 6, 2014

    Suzanna, there is no doubt that 4/5D printing may be hot topics in 2014. Apart from that I think new offerings from OEMs (mobile, robotics, wearable devices etc) in terms of products and technology can be more prominent in market.

  12. Daniel
    January 6, 2014

    “2014 should see design, manufacturing returning to USA and helping reduce unemployment. Google, Apple, GE and other will be main contributors.”

    HM, I think in 2014 the process of job migration can be speed up and other countries may join with this fray.

  13. SP
    January 8, 2014

    So Apple has occupied all tech news in 2013. Hope it continues in 2014.

  14. ITempire
    January 8, 2014

    Adeniji, with the problems that Africa has faced over the past few decades for e.g. femine, corruption, diseases, etc. it is likely to face a lot more hurdles even in the area of business because of these problems. However, the direction must be right and incremental changes in the countries can attract even more investors. There is no doubt that after China, this is the place to invest in.

  15. Daniel
    January 8, 2014

    “So Apple has occupied all tech news in 2013. Hope it continues in 2014.”

    SP, you meant about Apples plan for home land manufacturing or any other thing?

  16. ITempire
    January 11, 2014

    Hailey. I personally am not really convinced when I see biased coverage of Chinese economy by the Western media. It is not just the Chinese; many are involved in counterfeiting. People don't really talk much about how the global manufacturing industry is currently reliant on China.

  17. ITempire
    January 11, 2014

    Nemos, if you look at the stats relating to Africa, its poverty and condition of its land, it is already destroyed. Only urbanization can help Africa to enter the mainstream modernization of the global economy. Having said that, every country must take measures itself and restrict the private sector from using land only to an acceptable extent.

  18. Wale Bakare
    January 11, 2014

    >>Africa is not like China and we must be very careful with our moves<<

    You can never have a transformation all of sudden as you are expecting it to happen, China did not become China of today overnight, bear in mind.

    Many works are on-going in some African nations – Nigeria for instance, the country has been troubled and, slowing in economic growth, these boil down to one thing, electricity. But this is becoming a thing of the past since electricity sector has been liberalized by the government of Nigeria. In IT sector, unprecedented development is also being recorded there, with the likes of IBM tapping massively from the huge markets as well as resources. While, major cities like Port Harcourt and Lagos are having intra-rail networks going on. GE's planning a $1 billion service and manufacturing facility in Calabar, the Cross River State capital in Nigeria.

  19. Wale Bakare
    January 11, 2014

    I think rebuilding already destroyed place is a massive opportunity for private engineering/utilities and OEM firms. Watch Lagos (Nigeria) Light Rail Project YouTube video

  20. ITempire
    January 13, 2014

    Wale, true. Like it is said. Opportunity lies in a problem. However, too weak infrastructure and lack of availability of local skilled staff makes things tougher for new investors. Some organizations have to join hands with the government and work for infrastructure development and in return, get a promise for either subsidies or tax free operations when other foreign and local investors are paying taxes.

  21. Wale Bakare
    January 13, 2014

    >> lack of availability of local skilled staff makes things tougher for new investors<<

    Sure in some other areas in Africa, shortage of expertize issue. But in Nigeria not the case, Nigeria is one of the few countries in the world with highly skilled and educated people, not just 1st degrees but MSc/PhD holders in engineering/science with sound and immense experiences.

  22. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    January 17, 2014

    @Susan. I think you may be right! It's going to be fun to watch.

  23. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    January 17, 2014

    _HM, the re-shoring move will likely continue. I think this big OEM examples that  you point to will be a leader that will encourage other organizations to consider it. I bet we get plenty more examples by the end of the year.

  24. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    January 17, 2014

    @Waqas, whether it is malware or electronics manufacturing, we do have a lot of examples of China being problemantic. I know that China isn't the whole problem. Where would you point as being an equally large part of the issue? Over reliance on china, as you say, is a problem too…

  25. ITempire
    January 19, 2014

    Hailey, I agree. We don't have anyone being an equal competitor of China when it comes to counterfeiting. Furthermore, we also want any other nation that does decrease reliance of blue chip companies on China. When power is handed over to one, problems always arise.

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