How The Apple iPhone Is Made
A Surprising Report on How Much of Apple’s Top Product is US-manufactured
By Alex Hillsberg for FinancesOnline.com
Are the last chapters of the iPhone saga unfolding? Not by any stretch of imagination, if you ask the Apple faithful. Definitely starting, if you ask the Android challengers.
The world and word war between Android and Apple just keeps escalating to ever greater heights, and has been the most engrossing story in business for quite a number of quarters now. Let’s not even talk courtroom battles and intellectual property clashes here. Very few technologies are completely new. Most owe a debt of gratitude to forebears who laid the foundation for all the awesomeness we carry around in our bags and pockets. Let’s just talk about sales.
Clearly, Apple has never been as popular as it was in the 2nd quarter of 2013. In the Q3 earnings call, Apple reported that 31.2 million iPhones were sold in that quarter. In fact, 34 million units of iPhone 5 were sold in the first 100 days. This was a quarterly record for Apple. Contrast this with 26 million iPhones sold last year. The company’s flagship product still has firm believers worldwide. That’s not the whole story, however, because incredible as it may seem iPhone 5 sales figures in the last three quarters were lower than what Wall Street expected causing massive fluctuations in the value of Apple’s shares in the stock market.
From the left flank, it looks like the Android charge led by Samsung is gaining ground. In 2012, Apple lost its firm grip on the smartphone market and Android manufacturers were emboldened to match Apple’s products spec for spec and price point for price point. Apple still leads, but not by miles. By the end of July 2013, Android phones have 65% of all smartphone sales in the nine influential smartphone markets in the world (UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, USA, Australia, China, Mexico), although as a single model, iPhone still has the biggest slice of the pie – 26.3%.
In the wake of rumors that Apple is set to abandon its one-size-fits-all design policy and release a budget iPhone alongside a new flagship device, where does this leave its current standard bearer? Apple has also started “reshoring” production of some of its products (but not iPhones, yet) back to the US. Will this move eventually change the big picture that follows?
September 10 is the D-day, and everyone’s pretty sure that Apple will release two variants of the iPhone on that day. One will be a flagship champagne-toned incremental upgrade nicknamed iPhone 5s. The other one will be the radical and fortune-changing plastic-enclosed budget iPhone nicknamed the 5c. Is Apple running scared of the competition or is it just plain smart? Two can play the game, after all. If Android manufacturers are leveling up to Apple’s premium space, why can’t Apple level down to Android’s budget territory? In fact, Apple is even more aggressive than usual. Weeks before the new iPhones are officially released, it has put in place a trade-in program that will take hundreds of dollars off the price of the new handset if the customer turns in an older model in perfect working condition.
In this infographic we trace the iPhone supply and manufacturing chain. We’re providing snippets of information on both of the existing flagship model plus early breaking rumors for the next-gen iPhones. Did you know, for example, that 90% of all the rare-earth minerals used on an iPhone 5’s circuitry, screen, speakers, and glass cover are mined in China and Inner Mongolia? And did you know that Foxconn might soon be overtaken by Pegatron as Apple’s biggest manufacturing partner in China?
What does the rest of the world contribute to the making of the iPhone? See the Infographic at FinancesOnline.com