You must log in or register to comment.

Dying4aCure t1_je3pv4n wrote

Because the labor is cheaper. According the the CEO.


Playfair99999 t1_je3t0qb wrote

Yes, it's a cycle. First it was China, then it's India, next could be Vietnam/Bangladesh/Phillipines, some other country that needs to put it's people in employment and gain capital from it.


goodnewbadestnews t1_je4dhrn wrote

China and India has a huge population as well. Indian middle class is rapidly rising.

Things would be different in Vietnam and Phillipines.


GrammatonYHWH t1_je4n215 wrote

It's all over the place already. My Samsung phone and Sony headphones are made in Vietnam.


Ponicrat t1_je5oddn wrote

West Africa's gonna be it one of these days. Rapidly growing population/economies, increasing access to electricity, internet, etc, much closer to Western markets than Asia


Hapankaali t1_je4a3cd wrote

It's not the only reason. During Covid there were repeated lockdowns in China, and foreign corporations have become more hesitant about relying on Chinese subsidiaries and suppliers in their supply chains. At the same time infrastructure and education in India has dramatically improved, making it a more attractive option. There are still many places with much cheaper labour.


[deleted] t1_je51kgg wrote



Dying4aCure t1_je52nbx wrote

But India isn’t much better. Just give them time, they will outpace China in those respects.


Da_Vader t1_je3v23j wrote

For all that talk about exploited labor, I can't imagine Americans working assembly lines for these devices. Foxconn has had a high suicide rate from monotonous -almost robotic assembly lines.


DisappointedQuokka t1_je4thsu wrote

You could absolutely find US citizens willing to do factory work.

The conditions that they want you to do that in, however, would turn the most aggressively conservative American into a unionist if they were subjected to them.


reddebian t1_je41dpn wrote

Why don't we use robots for phones? We already use them for cars (mostly, some processes still require humans). Wouldn't that be far cheaper and faster to produce and Apple could do it in the US without relying on another country?


technitecho t1_je46e02 wrote

I believe the robots we use in cars are mainly to produce the main body and larger parts. Engines and smaller stuff like circuit boards etc are still made by hand.

Phones are really small and need precision. Perhaps that's why robots aren't used


irk5nil t1_je4j58q wrote

Circuit boards by hand? IIRC circuit boards were one of the first technological artifacts the manufacturing of which was fully robotized. You can't really place modern SMT components by hand anyway -- not repeatedly and quickly at least.


technitecho t1_je4kdk2 wrote

I don't mean that kind of circuit board... I mean things like connecting the wires of headlights, dashboard info, autolocks etc etc


irk5nil t1_je4lapp wrote

But...wiring isn't circuit boards. It's wiring.


HankKwak t1_je4b7e6 wrote

We certainly have the precision technology to automate the assembly of phones however, due to the dexterity required, variety of tasks and constant re-calibrating every year for a new model, people are still the cheaper option…


cute_polarbear t1_je6h2y5 wrote

For many of these stuff, many of the manufacturing and crucially, supply chain down to sourcing of raw material had been completely moved over to China over last 30 years or so. Most of us focus on assembly of the final phone, which is not yet fully automated, in part due to stringent requirements and labor cost (humans are still cheaper), but more and more aspects of the manufacturing process is and will be automated. Just a matter of time.


Some_Development3447 t1_je4agrv wrote

I remember an Apple rep came to my company to dissect which country benefits the most from producing an iphone. As in where the money goes. Everyone guessed China but of the countries where an iphone is made, China made the least. It was Germany first, USA, some other country and then China.


mattyyyp t1_je4zxg6 wrote

This is some weird primary school story crap, their chips the most expensive part are made in Taiwan (plants coming online in the US) Their screens made in South Korea (Also want to bring their own production to the US) All assembled in China.

China in no way makes the least in Fox’s Apple City and I can’t even fathom why Germany would even be on the list.


5dmt t1_je3tpir wrote

This is how the current economic model for developing a country works, take advantage of their lack of labor laws because they don’t know any better, pollute their environment, and introduce them to plastic trinkets and western capitalism. Once they figure out they’ve been taken advantage of the company leaves for somewhere cheaper to do it over again. Except now, this developing country is left with an environmental mess they can’t clean up and their economy is fucked.


Donutkiss t1_je3ua4l wrote

That’s still loads better the alternatives


[deleted] t1_je3xzix wrote

I take meaningful objection to this. I really do. And this isn't meant as satire, and I'm not trying to minimize the situation either.

Western corporations absolutely do swoop in, take advantage of loose regulation, advantageous access to leaders, cheap labor and the rest to get the best deal they can get. And they do calculate about where to go for it. There was a paper I read years ago by western corporate interests discussing where to migrate their production now that coastal chinese labor had gotten too expensive.

But the majority of the environmental damage that goes on (or that went on in China, for example) isn't like coming out of an Intel Corp. factory pipe into the water table. It's a lack of government regulation and it's domestic businesses - willing to cut corners to make a buck with the new opportunities that western companies represent - doing it themselves. There are criticisms to levy at the west for that; they're putting a bunch of money and technology that people don't understand into the hands of people who see a chance for advantage and they're ruining their own environment. It's terrible and we should worry about it - but it isn't some nebulous plot by the west to go in and pollute a lake, etc.


5dmt t1_jebbi4x wrote

> It’s a lack of government regulation and it’s domestic businesses - willing to cut corners to make a buck with the new opportunities that western companies represent - doing it themselves.

So it’s their own fault for not knowing any better and not having regulations in place for pollution from industry they have no experience with? I see.


[deleted] t1_jebfevw wrote

Plastic recycling in Hunan province. All the plastic recycling from the West used to get bought by China. What they were doing with it, was sending it to Hunan province, where small scale plastic recycling would basically spring up in people's kitchens. You can imagine a big pot of toxic chemicals and people throwing plastic in in some medieval act to get out fresh plastic. The tailings would be sent into nearby waterways like the rest of their water waste.

For years this went on and no one really knew about it. People started mysteriously dying, and then younger people started mysteriously dying the same way: people in their 70s, then people in their 60s, etc, down to the 30s and 40s. Eventually an investigating doctor figured out they were dying from strokes, due to exposure to these plasticizers that were getting into their water table. The government covered it up for a while.

This is an instance of some Chinese, in a system without institutional oversight or accountability, seeing a money-making opportunity, got themselves into trouble.

An iphone plant that needs a source of iron. A tire plant that needs industrial lubricants. There's a point in the distribution of the supply chain where work and products move from the international corporations to domestic suppliers. The oversight of those suppliers is often lacking - it's nonexistent, they buy off regulators, they forge certifications. Apple can't inspect every upstream supplier from pig to sausage, because material production touches too many aspects of their society.

But let's say Apple's really good and they check every box and verify every supplier. Apple's been in China a number of years...Xiaomi springs up to offer competitor phones. Xiaomi is a domestic producer. They need all the same chips, all the same boards, all the same screens. But maybe they don't go through the exhaustive verification process of their supply chain, and the cycle continues.

The Apple/Xiaomi example is fictitious, but it is just an example of how these things get out of hand. There are effort to introduce corporate accountability for this stuff, and it's getting better. But it's always going to be a problem.

Now, that's not to say we're faultless in all this. It's a profound issue. If you want an example that will keep you up at night, look up the open-air e-waste dumps in Ghana.

But there are intermediary points in development that are hard to get right, even with the best intentions, and in a society where corruption is the norm, and cultural understanding of environmental costs is low, there will always be ways it goes sideways.


washington_jefferson t1_je40cgb wrote

Exactly. Even gas company plants (e.g. Exxon) in areas like Africa are well built and don't pollute into the surrounding environments. Their facilities are insanely expensive and efficient. People just hate global corporations and will always say "they are ruining the environment!" Always.


Lauris024 t1_je4jvih wrote

People will cry/hate, period. If they don't dig for oil there, then instead people will be crying about more expensive gas


Sonofabiach t1_je3wh60 wrote

So a dollar a day and a porcelain toilet after 10 yrs


RoachWithWings t1_je4btcl wrote

  • assembled in India

Conscious-Nothing-46 t1_je4d8mn wrote

Yes all things happen slowly one step at a time. Today it's assembled, tomorrow more parts of the supply chain will move and it's a feedback loop. Countries don't industrialize in a single day.


ProlapseOfJudgement t1_je4mdbk wrote

A few years ago I would have applauded this, but sadly India is swiftly tilting towards authoritarianism now as well.