To land a contract with Apple is perhaps the dream of any supplier in the world. But to get the deal is one thing and to see it through is another one. An interesting new article from The Wall Street Journal has current Apple suppliers speak about how is it to work with Apple.
The recent partnership between sapphire manufacturer, GT Advanced Technologies and Apple, has recently come to an end, and with this occasion, longtime members of Apple’s supply chain have had some interesting things to share.
What most of them seem to agree on is that Apple is a ough but fair partner who offers component manufacturers a chance at success provided they take the proper precautions. The main advice that the companies shared is that suppliers shouldn’t promise things they cannot deliver. Apple's current suppliers believe that this was the reason why the sapphire manufacturer that partnered with Apple couldn’t deliver the material as promised.
Here are some more details about how GTAT failed to deliver the material:
Suppliers also said that over promising Apple, a company known for being strict and demanding, is a 'critical mistake'. For example, suppliers from Japan, are said to be conservative in what they tell Apple they can deliver, which is in big contrast to the large promises made by GTAT.
Apple's reputation for being difficult is fueled by the fact that supply chain managers are constantly looking to squeeze costs. Here are some more details:
So, it seems that if you want to work with Apple, you need to make sure that you are up to such a hard task.