Vietnam Might Be the Next iPhone Manufacturing Center

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Due to the trade war between the United States and China, companies are looking to put their eggs into more baskets. Vietnam could be one of them.

Apple has homed in on Vietnam and India as it intensifies its search for ways to diversify its supply chain. Nintendo has accelerated a shift in the production of its Switch console to Vietnam from China, according to Panjiva, a supply chain research firm. The Taiwanese electronics behemoth Foxconn, a major assembler of iPhones, said in January that it had acquired land-use rights in Vietnam and had pumped $200 million into an Indian subsidiary. Other Taiwanese and Chinese partners to Apple have indicated that they are considering ramping up operations in Vietnam as well.

iPhone and the US-China Trade War

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Jason Dedrick, Greg Linden, and Kenneth L. Kraemer broke down the cost of the iPhone and showed how China doesn’t get as much value from iPhone exports as we think.

So what about all of those famous factories in China with millions of workers making iPhones? The companies that own those factories, including Foxconn, are all based in Taiwan. Of the factory-cost estimate of $237.45 from IHS Markit at the time the iPhone 7 was released in late 2016, we calculate that all that’s earned in China is about $8.46, or 3.6% of the total. That includes a battery supplied by a Chinese company and the labor used for assembly.

Examining Apple's Recycling Ambitions

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Maddie Stone wrote a great dive into Apple’s recycling ambitions and the company’s quest to some day stop mining resources.

For a company that sells over 200 million smartphones a year, along with millions more tablets and computers, achieving what sustainability wonks call a “circular economy” will amount to a complete overhaul of everything from how Apple devices are manufactured to what we do with those devices at the end of their lives…The question is whether that’s a future Apple truly wants—or one that its investors will allow.

Here's Why iPhone Assembly Doesn't Happen Here

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Apple relies on China for a huge part of its manufacturing needs. But why can’t the company bring it back to the United States? Custom screws.

The challenges in Texas illustrate problems that Apple would face if it tried to move a significant amount of manufacturing out of China. Apple has found that no country — and certainly not the United States — can match China’s combination of scale, skills, infrastructure and cost.

Manufacturing and cheap labor are the reasons why Apple and other companies go to China. The GOP can talk about bringing jobs like that back, but it’s not an easy problem to solve.

Where iPhone Components Come From

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Ever wondered where iPhone components come from? Apple sold its 2 billionth iOS device this year. The sheer volume of products the company makes requires an incredibly complex and far-reaching supply chain. CNBC traces what it takes to make an iPhone, from its initial design to the raw materials and components needed to make it a reality. It’s a fascinating look into Apple’s supply chain, which Tim Cook is famous for implementing and improving.