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.

NY Grad Student Goes Undercover at Pegatron iPhone Factory

· · Cool Stuff Found

Every wonder what it’s really like to make iPhones in a Chinese factory? New York University student Dejian Zeng found out by working in one for 6 weeks for a summer project. BusinessInsider interviewed him about the experience, where he discussed the daily life of a worker. He shared a dorm with 7 people, worked 12 hour shifts, did repetitive tasks, and got paid more than the minimum wage. “I mean, it’s simple,” he said, “but that’s the work that you do. Over, over, over again. For whole days.” He also described being on an assembly line ramping up a new product, an experience that was punctuated by hours of boredom waiting for the next unit to work on. It’s an excellent read—I’m writing it up as a Cool Stuff Found, rather than a full article, because I want to encourage everyone to read it. Plus, these kinds of manufacturing jobs are not going to come back to the U.S., at least not for humans to do.

NY Grad Student Goes Undercover at Pegatron iPhone Factory

Donald Trump's Latest Pipe Dream: Bring Apple's Manufacturing to the US

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Apple and Donald Trump

Donald Trump thinks it’s time for Apple to start manufacturing its products in the United States, and told CEO Tim Cook as much. Mr. Trump said Mr. Cook called him, and that he wants to give companies like Apple big tax breaks and remove industry regulations to get new factories in the country. That’s a pretty big dream considering the U.S. hasn’t ever had the production capacity to meet Apple’s needs.