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  • Obama to Steve Jobs: “What would it take to make iPhones in the United States?”

    Posted on January 23rd, 2012 admin 8 comments

    I don’t normally do this, but all students [and all readers of this blog] regardless of their major should read, digest and understand the implications of Apple’s manufacturing strategyas depicted in the following NYTimes article: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/22/business/apple-america-and-a-squeezed-middle-class.html

    Might give those 99% protesting the 1% while carrying all Apple gear pause for thought. The article presents a very concise picture of Apple’s global supply chain and implication(s) for US policymakers, workers, and educators. What is your take on Apple’s strategy?

    You can read more about Foxconn here: And a video of Steve Jobs defending Apple’s use of Foxconn as its manufacturer of choice is below:

    PS: Since I wrote this blog entry, the Dean of Krannert School of Management sent the link to all Krannert faculty as a suggested reading. Keep in mind, the “Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish” guy started this.   Hank



    8 responses to “Obama to Steve Jobs: “What would it take to make iPhones in the United States?””

    1. I believe it is sad that the U.S. missed out on making iPhones. My teacher in another class brought up this article today also. As of right now, other countries are doing a better job of being more flexible and cheaper than the U.S. is at manufacturing. We missed a huge opportunity in not being able to manufacture these products. This would have created more jobs for Americans and kept creating more jobs. Apple is a very successful and innovative company, and will continue to come out with new products that need to be manufactured. Unless other countries flexibility is raised and costs are lowered, the United States will never be a leading manufacturer for Apple products.

    2. On my previous comment I meant to say that flexibility is lowered and costs are raised in other countries.

    3. Stephanie Bouche

      I feel that Obama’s question was a very interesting one to ask. There are so many attempts in the U.S. to create more jobs for our citizens, yet we’re missing out on HUGE job opportunites such as this one. Having Apple products manufactured in our country has the potential to create a multitude of new jobs for Americans. Though it may slightly increase the overall price of Apple’s products, I personally feel it would be worth it. However, this concept shouldn’t just apply to Apple. There are many companies who have factories overseas. By bringing even just a few of these manufacturing jobs back into the U.S., there could be a huge increase in jobs available, therefore leading to a decrease in unemployment.

    4. Catch-22. Americans(as workers) want high paying jobs with great benefits and retirement, but the same individuals(as consumers) want inexpensive goods and services.
      Also, American businesses don’t have nearly the same draconian control over employees as Chinese businesses do(with government approval and cooperation).

    5. Jonathon Williams

      Yes we did miss out on having the Iphone produced in the United States. The thing is that many companies like to make their products the in the cheapest way they can. So going overseas costs less and they work harder for less money. So there is two sides to this story the business side, being cost effective, and the people making it overseas will do things that people in America won’t do because there not getting paid enough or their working to much.

    6. The Americans completely missed the oppurtunity to produce the Iphone in the United States. It’s the same problem that keeps continuing to happen. Everything is cheaper overseas. I see why they end up doing that and trying to save costs, but at some point we’re going to need to make jobs in America to try and help out the economy. By saving some money here and there we’re hurting the economy more.

    7. [...] to market acceptance, anything and everything is competition-based. As suggested in this past Tuesday’s blog on Apple’s use of Foxconn to manufacture most/many of its products for world-wide consumption, they do this not out of a [...]

    8. To a point, I understand Apple’s “need” to head overseas for producing the iPhones. They made it clear that it wasn’t a big deal that the labor was much cheaper, but my discerning with this is that in the long run, this could hurt us. Yes, Apple needed highly qualified engineers to produce an enormous amount of high-quality iPhones in a very short amount of time, but does this need to continue to be done overseas? In my opinion, there is a fast-growing amount of very qualified people to work for Apple in America, so why not try to look for them and help their own country out? I’m not saying that employing people from overseas is altogether a bad thing, but I am saying that no longer wanting that “Made in the USA” label is a sad thing. To me, that’s saying that our country is just not capable of manufacturing top-notch products, but I think in reality we are as long as we have the proper training to the right people.

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