How U.S. Lost Out on iPhone Work

Mar 2008
Broadcast Depth
When Barack Obama joined Silicon Valley’s top luminaries for dinner in California last February, each guest was asked to come with a question for the president.

But as Steven P. Jobs of Apple spoke, President Obama interrupted with an inquiry of his own: what would it take to make iPhones in the United States?
Not long ago, Apple boasted that its products were made in America. Today, few are. Almost all of the 70 million iPhones, 30 million iPads and 59 million other products Apple sold last year were manufactured overseas.
Why can’t that work come home? Mr. Obama asked.
Mr. Jobs’s reply was unambiguous. “Those jobs aren’t coming back,” he said, according to another dinner guest.
Apple executives say that going overseas, at this point, is their only option. One former executive described how the company relied upon a Chinese factory to revamp iPhone manufacturing just weeks before the device was due on shelves. Apple had redesigned the iPhone’s screen at the last minute, forcing an assembly line overhaul. New screens began arriving at the plant near midnight.

A foreman immediately roused 8,000 workers inside the company’s dormitories, according to the executive. Each employee was given a biscuit and a cup of tea, guided to a workstation and within half an hour started a 12-hour shift fitting glass screens into beveled frames. Within 96 hours, the plant was producing over 10,000 iPhones a day.

“The speed and flexibility is breathtaking,” the executive said. “There’s no American plant that can match that.”

And people wonder why those workers are willing to suicide while on strike instead of just going along to get along. It's not "those crazy Chinese", they're effectively on call for less than you would pay a janitor here in the States. Apple doesn't think they can run their business without that kind of human automaton, and so do a lot of other companies.

But there are still some Americans that don't see a problem with giving Corporate the keys to government.
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Council Hall
Dec 2007
Pennsylvania, USA
A fascinating - and not a little depressing - article. Thanks.


Former Staff
Aug 2006
The only way to deal with this is call it for what it is (slavery) and refuse to allow slave drivers to do business in the United States.