Yesterday we brought you the heartbreaking story of a young Chinese woman who was forced by her weary circumstances to try and commit suicide at the age of 17. She was working for Foxconn at the time of her attempt.
We’ll now try and look at Apple’s manufacturing industry and attempt to explain why the tech giant prefers to do most of its business abroad. A telling infographic designed by Ruby Media for FinancesOnline.com shows the Apple story in a different light, putting aside the glamour, the fame and the popularity. Overall Apple owns over 700,000 jobs overseas, while only 43,000 are based in the United States and mostly translate into retail jobs. So who are the other 700,000 Apple workers?
The story goes like this. When Apple launches a product, it is faced with a huge popular demand. Customers are lined up outside the Apple store days before the device arrives in retail shops and the initial batch of products is sold out within seconds. In these conditions, Apple needs to generate a lot of products fast. That’s when the Chinese manufacturing comes in. You might wonder why doesn’t Apple move its assembly lines to the United States and provide more jobs for Americans. Well because, it wouldn’t be able to hire people for low pay in the US. And it wouldn’t be able to have people working 12 hours per day, six days a week, missing lunch and having restricted toilet breaks in order to meet the demand. Oddly enough, the infographic shows that some other parts of the iPhone 5 are also made in South Korea, Italy or France.
More than that, Apple needs its Chinese suppliers for yet another very important reason. To fabricate our iDevices the tech giant needs a host of rare minerals, most of which are extracted from Chinese territories.
Nevertheless, Apple has announced its intention of moving some of its production back home. It has said that in 2013 the public is going to see the assembly line for Mac computers return to the United States. But that hardly means we’re going to see the tech giant abandon Chinese territory. Have a look at the infographic below (click for full-view)