Sources in Apple's supply chain pointed out to DigiTimes that it would be "highly difficult" to relocate Apple's production lines to the United States. Currently, almost all of Apple's products are actually assembled in Asia.
Sources in Apple's supply chain pointed out to Digitimes that it would be "highly difficult" to relocate Apple's production lines to the United States. Currently, almost all of Apple's products are actually assembled in Asia.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has indicated that he would like to see the company’s products manufactured in the United States. But this might be harder to do than it sounds.
Assuming Apple decided to start assembling their products in the U.S, it would be extremely costly to import components from overseas. In addition, since wages in the U.S are higher than the wages paid to Apple’s Asian laborers, this would make such a transition even more difficult financially.
Cook in a Foxconn factory
"Since moving a supply chain from one place to another takes time, while enterprises are mainly concerned about costs, if there is no profitability in moving, the related upstream component makers are unlikely to follow Apple in moving to the U.S.," said the Digitimes report.
According to a report in The New York Times, the advantages to having Assembly lines in close proximity to component manufacturers extend beyond price savings – the paper noted that there are many highly skilled laborers who work with "breathtaking" speed and flexibility which could not be matched by American factories.
Cook brought up the fact that some Apple components, like the iPhone’s custom ARM-processor and Gorilla Glass are manufactured in the United States. But, he mentioned that there are few actual tool and die makers in the country.
"There's an intense focus on the final assembly. Could that be done in the U.S.? I sure hope so," said Cook. "But look, how many tool and die makers do you know in America? I could ask them, nationwide, to come here tonight and we couldn't fill [a few hundred seats in] this room."
Apple has fallen under heavy criticism for its poorly paid workers in China’s Foxconn factory, which manufactures some of Apple’s products.
If Apple really took the plunge, and went for domestic manufacturing, they could erase this bad publicity by properly paying properly worked employees, with proper oversight to ensure fair working conditions and payment. It could also add a dash of patriotism to the company's image, which could work favorably for it's reputation in the United States.
But, reality is reality. There are clearly hurdles that Apple would have to overcome in the meantime. It is up to the company to decide whether or not they see the disadvantages as short term, and the benefits worthy enough of taking the risk.
Source: Apple Insider