Despite having a good part of its supply chain in China and other emerging countries, Apple is one of the technological giants with more partners in its home country. Some components of the iPhone are manufactured in the United States, and Apple was one of the only companies to risk assembling an entire computer in the country in this decade – which ended up not working very well, as we will see below.
To celebrate this appreciation of the local workforce, Apple today issued a statement highlighting some important numbers and stories from American suppliers and workers. According to the company, only in 2018 were invested $ 60 billion in 9,000 supplier partners in the USA (an increase of more than 10% over the previous year); this value reaches about 450,000 workers around the country.
Among Apple’s main partners in their home country, we have the Finise, manufacturer of a fundamental component of laser projection for the TrueDepth camera of the latest iPhones; The Corning, producing the glasses that line the front and back of Apple smartphones (and several other devices in the world); and yet the Broadcom, a Qorvo and the Skyworks, working on telecommunication pieces so that the devices connect with each other and with the planet.
In the statement, Apple also highlighted some personal stories, such as that of army veteran Michael Turner, who, at the age of 40, started working as a process technician at Finisar last June, in addition to becoming a mentor in a youth training program for the technological area. Khan Qurashi was the first woman hired as an engineering equipment technician at the same factory and is still completing college while specializing there.
Not everything is flowers
Yes, it’s all very beautiful, but the reality goes a little further. A report published today by New York Times (Incidentally, Apple’s came a little later, suggesting a possible “indirect response” to the newspaper “) showed why Apple – and other American companies – no longer do business with local partners. The example used to prove the theory was nothing less than a … screw.
I explain: when Apple announced, back in 2012, that it would assemble a new Mac model (the then new Mac Pro) exclusively in the USA, the company found itself facing problems of all kinds related to the efficiency and cost of American suppliers. . One of the most alarming aspects of the machine’s manufacturing process was precisely that of its screws: Apple simply couldn’t build prototypes and test versions because the company’s screw supplier could only produce 1,000 pieces a day – dozens more times smaller than required by Cupertino.
Trying to solve the problem, Apple turned to another company, Caldwell Manufacturing, which was able to produce 28,000 screws a day – although not exactly to the specification Apple requested. The screws were delivered to Apple’s Texas automaker on 22 trips; some of these deliveries were made by Caldwell owner Stephen Melo himself in his private vehicle.
Ultimately, Apple was forced to turn to Chinese suppliers to get the appropriate amount of screws to the required specifications – but at that point, Mac Pro production was already on schedule and, due to that, the launch of the computer was delayed by a few months.
China, of course, is the ultimate example of a place where you can get basically any part you want in any quantity in the shortest possible time: flexible medieval labor laws allow factories to take continuous shifts 24 hours a day, workers take very long hours and Earn miniscule wages, which enhances corporate profits and the attractiveness of their businesses.
With the current trade war between the US and China, it is possible that Apple will bring more operations to its backyard, but – based on the information brought here – it is very, very difficult for Apple to leave the Wall Country as a whole in any near future.