Sunday, January 22, 2012

Made in China: Why Apple makes iPhones and iPads overseas

Posted By on Sun, Jan 22, 2012 at 7:50 AM

OFFSHORE JOBS: Assembly of tech products has moved to Chinese plants such as this.
  • Schema Magazine
  • OFFSHORE JOBS: Assembly of tech products has moved to Chinese plants such as this.

It's going to be a dreary day. You may spend a good amount of time at your computer. If so, I'd recommend this long read in the New York Times on why Apple's production of iPhones and iPads is offshore, primarily in China.

I won't summarize much except to say it is not wholly about low wages, though production wages are indisputably low ($17 a day) and working conditions — 12-hour days, six days a week by enormous work forces housed in plant-site dormitories — are grim. Flexibility, diligence, skill, mid-level engineering workforce, supply chain. All these things contribute.

An accompanying chart in the print edition on the country's biggest employers leaves you with a distinct impression that we've become a country of (low-wage) shopkeepers.

(Yes, the U.S. has a significant number of tech jobs that do a lot of the brainwork for these products. But the job numbers are dwarfed by those overseas.)

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