Further Confirmation that Apple Does its Own Product Engineering

  • Posted: 02 August 2010 12:34 PM

    Tim Bajaran’s article below is just one of the many published since the Antennagate press conference that validates the observation of many of us at AFB that Apple does do its own product engineering—-and that it did not farm out the basic antenna design to subcontractors as Eric had contended.

    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2367211,00.asp

         
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    Posted: 02 August 2010 12:50 PM #1

    Hannibal - 02 August 2010 03:34 PM

    Tim Bajaran’s article below is just one of the many published since the Antennagate press conference that validates the observation of many of us at AFB that Apple does do its own product engineering—-and that it did not farm out the basic antenna design to subcontractors as Eric had contended.

    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2367211,00.asp

    My information is from people who I fully expect would know. You’ve seen peeks of the phenomenon at iEvents where Apple boasts that supplier X built a whole new whatever just for Apple.

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  • Posted: 02 August 2010 01:23 PM #2

    The “whatevers” are well-defined modular component parts that have the potential to add function, increased speed, more battery life, etc. to an Apple product. Apple is happy to leave the parts engineering to the manufacturers who specialize in such encapsulated components. But overall product engineering stays in the hands of Apple, including the design of key components that cross functional boundaries—-such as the antennas in an iPhone. The manufacturing of such components will then usually be subbed out.

         
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    Posted: 02 August 2010 01:32 PM #3

    Hannibal - 02 August 2010 04:23 PM

    Apple is happy to leave the parts engineering to the manufacturers who specialize in such encapsulated components.

    That was my point: Apple farms out engineering to component suppliers. I know this because I talk to them.

    Speaking of, Mr. Softie is splashing cash around to build new Windows 7 phone/PDA/iPadish widgets and it appears that Ballmer wasn’t bluffing when he said it is job 1 to bring tabletish products to market.

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    For those who look, a flash allows one to see farther.

         
  • Posted: 02 August 2010 01:39 PM #4

    Eric,
    Your original point was that Apple suffered iPhone4 antenna issues because it had farmed out the iPhone4 antenna design and engineering to a subcontractor.  Apple has demonstrated that this contention of yours is not true.

         
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    Posted: 02 August 2010 04:12 PM #5

    Hannibal - 02 August 2010 04:39 PM

    Eric,
    Your original point was that Apple suffered iPhone4 antenna issues because it had farmed out the iPhone4 antenna design and engineering to a subcontractor.  Apple has demonstrated that this contention of yours is not true.

    None of my indirect, non-NDA breaking contacts worked on antennas and I know for a fact that I was speaking of Apple’s general practice of industrial designers working up a design followed by Apple engineers writing specs, followed by component suppliers doing the engineering to build custom parts to spec.

    Let’s face it, Apple’s uber-antenna test chamber doesn’t mean that they designed the antenna, it means they tested antenna design. Given the real failings of the design in the real world, with a 100M facility, don’t you think Apple could have done a little better job of design?

    Via conjecture, it appears that Apple thought they could beef up the antenna end given that within the first two weeks of antennagate, Apple posted three new antenna engineering positions.

    Anyway, the take-away is that I stand by my the views I expressed earlier.

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    Black Swan Counter: 9 (Banks need money, Jobs needs a break, Geithner has no plan, Cuomo’s grandstanding, .Gov needs a hobby, GS works for money, flash crash, is that bubbling crude?).

    For those who look, a flash allows one to see farther.

         
  • Posted: 03 August 2010 03:35 AM #6

    Eric Landstrom - 02 August 2010 07:12 PM
    Hannibal - 02 August 2010 04:39 PM

    Eric,
    Your original point was that Apple suffered iPhone4 antenna issues because it had farmed out the iPhone4 antenna design and engineering to a subcontractor.  Apple has demonstrated that this contention of yours is not true.

    None of my indirect, non-NDA breaking contacts worked on antennas and I know for a fact that I was speaking of Apple’s general practice of industrial designers working up a design followed by Apple engineers writing specs, followed by component suppliers doing the engineering to build custom parts to spec.

    Let’s face it, Apple’s uber-antenna test chamber doesn’t mean that they designed the antenna, it means they tested antenna design. Given the real failings of the design in the real world, with a 100M facility, don’t you think Apple could have done a little better job of design?

    Via conjecture, it appears that Apple thought they could beef up the antenna end given that within the first two weeks of antennagate, Apple posted three new antenna engineering positions.

    Anyway, the take-away is that I stand by my the views I expressed earlier.

    We’re all probably just picking at nits here but I’ll stand by my feeling that Apple does it’s own engineering and design.  I’ve sat in too many design/construction meetings where every individual at the table thought that they were the one responsible for making the project a success.  In many respects it’s what you’re looking for…,everyone taking personal responsibility for the success of a project.  Just because your buddies told you they were “doing Apples design work” doesn’t make it so. 

    While I’m at it…,I had a thought the other day that I’d bet isn’t far from the truth.  Somebody inside Apple probably mentioned the fact that antenna’s used to work so much better when they were on the outside (which they did) and we should just work on making it non-breakable.  I think that’s the person who rightfully could be claiming most of the credit.  I’m loving my new iPhone and think that the new antenna is brilliant.

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    I don’t mind being wrong…,I just hate being wrong so FAST!