Apple’s Customers Will Pay A Premium For Made-In-USA Phone, Analyst Suggests

Apple could build a TV — because of Trump

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The chairman of Foxconn, the company that assembles most of Apple’s iPhones in China, gave some remarks at a holiday party over the weekend suggesting that Apple could partner with his company to build a new factory in the US.

But most interesting is which parts that factory might produce: large flat-panel screens, which at least one analyst believes could be an indication that Apple is planning to build a TV set.

The Foxconn chairman, Terry Gou, said his company was considering building a $7 billion flat-panel screen factory in the US. Part of that $7 billion could come out of Apple’s pocket, Gou said, according to Nikkei. Read more of this post

Under Armour CEO: ‘We should be bringing jobs back’

Anita Balakrishnan

Moving manufacturing where the labor is cheap isn’t sustainable — but consistently innovating is, Under Armour (NYSE: UAA)CEO Kevin Plank said in a speech recently.

Shoe manufacturing has largely moved abroad to Asia from Europe and the U.S., a function of inexpensive labor in those countries, Plank told an audience at technology tradeshow CES in Las Vegas on Friday.

Now, however, consumers are increasingly demanding locally-sourced goods, making manufacturing in the Americas a more attractive bet, he added.

“We should be bringing jobs back, not just to America, but tightening supply chains all over the world,” Plank said. “We have the ability to do it better. It’s time for all of us to make an investment.” Read more of this post

An iPhone made in the US? Apple is considering it….

iphone-mfg

Apple has reportedly asked key iPhone manufacturer,partners, namely Foxconn and Pegatron, to investigate ways to bring the iPhone assembly supply chain into the United States. Today, all iPhones (and almost all Apple products) are manufactured and assembled in China.

Is Apple looking into manufacturing the iPhone in the US?

On Thursday, the Japan-based business publication cited an anonymous source in reporting that Apple had asked the two Asia-based firms that assemble the device to examine the possibility of moving production to the States.

That request, to Foxconn Technology Group and Pegatron, came in June, the news outlet said.

Apple didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment on the report.

 Moving production to the States would address campaign rhetoric from now President-elect Donald Trump, who said in a speech in January that a Trump administration would “get Apple to build their damn computers and things in this country instead of in other countries.”

 

In a memo to employees last week, Apple CEO Tim Cook addressed strong reactions to Trump’s win and said, “We only do great work and improve the world by moving forward.”

Made in USA Certified Seal

 

Apple: Many ‘genuine’ Apple products on Amazon are fake

Oct. 17, 2016, that it has been buying Apple products labeled as genuine on Amazon.com and has found nearly 90 percent of them are counterfeit.

Oct. 17, 2016, that it has been buying Apple products labeled as genuine on Amazon.com and has found nearly 90 percent of them are counterfeit.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Apple says it has been buying Apple chargers and cables labeled as genuine on Amazon.com and has found nearly 90 percent of them to be counterfeit.

The revelation comes in a federal lawsuit filed by Apple against a New Jersey company on Monday over what Apple says are counterfeit products that were sold on Amazon.

In the lawsuit, Apple says Mobile Star imprinted Apple logos on cables and chargers that “pose a significant risk of overheating, fire, and electrical shock.” It says the chargers and cables were being sold on Amazon as genuine Apple products.

Apple says it purchased the products on Amazon and later told the online retailer that they were fake. Amazon then identified Mobile Star as the source.

Amazon isn’t named in the suit, but said in a statement that it has “zero tolerance” for counterfeiters on its site and that it pursues “wrongdoers” aggressively. Mobile Star didn’t return a voicemail seeking comment.

 

 

 

 

 

AP: https://www.yahoo.com/tech/apple-many-genuine-apple-products-amazon-fake-142356031.html

Consumer Reports: Made in America?

Consumer Reports: Made in America?

Almost eight in 10 American consumers say they would rather buy an American-made product than an imported one, according to a recent survey conducted by Consumer Reports. And more than 60 percent say they’re even willing to pay 10 percent more for it. Read more of this post

Made in America label stages comeback at U.S. stores

NEW YORK: When Roger Simmermaker went shopping for clothes at a Florida mall in the mid-1990s, he wanted to buy American, but to his frustration, he couldn’t find anything made in the USA.

The experience motivated Simmermaker, an electronics technician by trade, to write “How Americans Can Buy American” – a guide to finding products manufactured in the United States, which were a scarce commodity at the time.

Nearly 20 years after writing the book, he has seen a big change, with the pendulum in full swing back toward a wider choice of American-made products. They are often available without the expected higher price tag.

“It’s definitely easier,” says Simmermaker, 47, who lives in Orlando and works for a defense contractor. “Especially in the last year or so, things have really changed.”

Those who believe in buying American-made goods from US-owned companies say it creates jobs and boosts the economy through reinvested profits and taxes.

Profit-driven US companies have their own reasons for locating factories, but manufacturers of goods ranging from refrigerators and dishwashers to laptops and tablets are starting to bring some of their production home, affording more opportunities for consumers with the patriotic conviction that Americans ought to buy American.

Better still, that “Made in the USA” label may no longer carry such a premium price tag. That’s because production and shipping costs in China and other foreign manufacturing centers are rising. Shifting some manufacturing back to the United States doesn’t necessarily mean manufacturers have to raise prices to compensate for higher labor costs.

To be sure, many industries are still dominated by imports – toys and textiles, for example. Still, Simmermaker and others who believe in buying American are seeing a broad shift.

“Reshoring” advocates were thrilled earlier this year when Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world’s largest retailer, announced it was throwing its weight behind the movement. In January, the chain – known for its extensive selection of imported goods – said it would spend an additional $50 billion over the next 10 years on American-made products, “helping to onshore US production in high-potential areas like textiles, furniture and higher-end appliances.”

Likewise, Apple Inc. said it planned to build some of its iMac line in the United States instead of China. Ford Motor Co.Coleman Co. (part of Jarden Corp. ) and Master Lock Co. (part of Fortune Brands Home & Security Co.) all have said they’re returning some manufacturing to the United States. The list goes on.

WHAT IT MEANS FOR CONSUMERS 

While few companies will move production for patriotic reasons alone, the public relations boost that goes with a decision to bring jobs back to the United States is gravy.

“They run the numbers and say ‘We can deliver just as cheaply from a US operation as we can from, say, China.’ It has some nice extra benefits,” says Dan Seiver, chief economist for Reilly Financial Advisors, a wealth management firm in San Diego, California. “Whatever credit goes with it is fine”

With little pricing difference, the impact on US consumers might not be that obvious. But Simmermaker and other advocates also contend that products made in the United States are often higher-quality and safer than those made elsewhere.

There is a decided upside for the companies, too. Making products closer to their end-market allows them to be more nimble in terms of customizing and delivering products.

That was the case with Spreadshirt, a Germany-based custom shirt maker that recently opened a plant in Nevada to supplement the output of its existing facility in Pennsylvania.

In 2011, the company was running its Pennsylvania plant around the clock. To keep up with holiday demand, it was forced to send some work to a plant in Poland, said Mark Venezia, vice president of global sales and marketing for North America.

But the company quickly realized that the distance hurt overall costs and speed – to the tune of about $2 more per unit. “We didn’t lose money, but, obviously, it hurt our bottom line,” Venezia said.

Hunting for a new location led Spreadshirt to Henderson, Nevada, where facilities that met specifications were available at favorable terms, along with a pool of prospective workers.

“We just got this incredible deal that provided us so many benefits,” Venezia said.

 

Made in America, Again

Bringing manufacturing jobs back to the U.S. is politically savvy and can make economic sense.

Offshore labor: A worker in a Foxconn factory assembles consumer electronics for U.S. markets.

At a dinner for Silicon Valley big shots in February 2011, President Obama asked Steve Jobs what it would take to manufacture the iPhone in the United States. Apple’s founder and CEO is said to have responded directly: “Those jobs aren’t coming back.”

In December, Apple reversed course, saying it planned to assemble a line of Mac computers in the U.S. With that, Apple joined a wave of companies that say manufacturing in this country makes sense again. Companies that say they’ve brought back jobs include General Electric, Michigan Ladder, and Wham-O, which in 2010 hired eight people to make Frisbees in Los Angeles instead of China. An MIT study in 2012 found that 14 percent of companies intend to move some manufacturing back home.

The idea is known as “reshoring.” Although Chinese wages are a fraction of U.S. labor costs, rising shipping rates, quality problems, and the intangible costs of being far from headquarters all add up. That’s why some companies have begun to rethink the manufacturing equation.

MIT Technology Review interviewed Harry Moser, head of the Chicago-basedReshoring Initiative, about the trend. Moser, a former industry executive whose family has been involved in American manufacturing for a century, says he grew up “experiencing the glory of U.S. manufacturing.” He created the initiative to help companies compare the real costs of manufacturing at home and abroad, and to track the experiences of those who are returning.

Why are people talking about reshoring all of a sudden?

It’s actually been happening over the last few years. The obvious answer is that Chinese wages are doubling every four years. The consultants who five years ago were helping people offshore are now helping them inshore. And then you have President Obama making a big deal over how to reduce imports and start making stuff again.

Read more of this post

Is The U.S. Really Losing Its Innovative Edge?

Guest post written by Gerard J. Tellis

Gerard J. Tellis is Neely Chair of American Enterprise, Director of the Center for Global Innovation, and Professor of Marketing, Management and Organization at the USC Marshall School of Business. His forthcoming book is Unrelenting Innovation: How to Create a Culture of Market Dominance.

Gerard J. Tellis

Innovation is critical for the improvement in consumer living standards, the growth and success of firms, and the wealth of nations. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the U.S. surpassed Great Britain as the world’s premier economy on the strength of its innovations. These innovations spanned a wide spectrum of industries. Innovations flourished in a variety of heavy industries such as aeronautics, automobiles, defense, communications, electricity and power generation. Innovations likewise blossomed in consumer goods and services such as soap, photography, shaving and entertainment. The U.S. also pioneered innovations in university education, land ownership, home ownership and individual rights. The U.S. lead in innovation lasted through most of the 20th century.

 

 

Is the U.S. now losing its edge in innovation?

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Is Apple Prepping a ‘Made in USA’ Boom?

It could hinge on whether it picks Intel to make more chips for it

Dec 4, 2012, 9:42 am EST  |  By Brad Moon, InvestorPlace Contributor

Two potentially huge Apple (NASDAQ:APPL) items hit the radar in quick succession over the past few days.

First came rumors that the company was in talks with Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) to replace Samsung as the processor supplier for its mobile devices. Then, as the first shipments of Apple’s new iMac PCs arrived, reports rolled out that at least some of them bore an “Assembled in USA” sticker. CEO Tim Cook rose to prominence at Apple for moving production to China, but could the company be on the verge of a shift back to “Made in America?”

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If Intel manages to score the coup of becoming the chip supplier for Apple’s mobile devices, that would be a big story for both Intel and U.S. manufacturing. It was only weeks ago that Apple was supposedly in talks with Taiwanese chipmaker TSMC(NYSE:TSM) about the possibility of replacing Intel CPUs in its PCs with TSMC chips based on ARM (NASDAQ:ARMH) architecture.

Intel CEO Paul Otellini (the guy who brought Apple into the Intel fold but failed to break into the mobile market) retires, and all of a sudden Apple and Intel appear to be making up for lost time. With most of Intel’s chip fabrication plants in the U.S. (including factories in Oregon, New Mexico and Arizona), domestic manufacturing would benefit tremendously. Apple sold 43 million iOS devices last quarter alone — that’s a lot of chips.

Then there’s the story of the “Assembled in USA” iMacs that’s burning up the tech sites right now. Some (but not all) of Apple’s latest iMacs have been arriving on doorsteps adorned with the usual “Designed by Apple in California” message. But instead of “Assembled in China,” they’re marked “Assembled in USA.”

The FTC has very specific rules about how to qualify for that label. To comply, Apple has to be doing much more than just screwing bases onto cases. A factory somewhere in the U.S. has to be building these things.

How could you justify assembling a computer in the U.S. if you can pay ridiculously low wages in China? First of all, those low wages aren’t as low as they used to be. According to The Atlantic,they’re five times what they were in 2000 and expected to continue rising at the rate of 18% per year. At the same time, U.S. labor productivity has risen, while U.S. manufacturing wages over the past five years are now back at the level they were in 2000, adjusted for inflation.

Earlier this year, The New York Times did the math and calculated that if Foxconn workers were paid equivalent U.S wages, it would add $65 to the cost of an iPhone. On a $649 device (the price of a base iPhone 4S at the time) with an estimated materials cost of $203, this would require Apple to either hike prices or bite the difference, cutting into its margins significantly.

However, an iMac is much more expensive. The cheapest is $1,299, so a potential uptick in labor costs may be less noticeable. And then there’s its size.

To get a sense of what it must cost Apple to ship one of these all the way from China, I tried an experiment using FedEx‘s (NYSE:FDXshipping calculator to compare the cost of shipping a 1.4-pound box (iPhone) and a 42-pound box (27-inch iMac) from Foxconn in Shenzhen to the FedEx hub in Memphis. The result: $448.732 vs. $2,620.72.

Obviously, Apple isn’t paying anything near the rate Joe Public would, and it also uses other shipping companies. But the point is clear.

Shipping an iMac costs six times what it costs to ship an iPhone. If a worker at Foxconn in China ismaking $2.50 an hour compared to an average U.S. manufacturing wage of $19.15 (a difference of $16.65), so long as an iMac took 3.5 hours or so of labor to assemble, Apple would be breaking even by shifting manufacturing back to the U.S. based on the savings in shipping costs.

That’s all hypothetical. But it shows how plausible it is that under current conditions, Apple might shift production of bigger products from China back home. Plus, Apple was facing limited supply of the new iMacs based on problems at Foxconn, so maybe it’s decided to take matters into its own hands. Perhaps a hit on margins is worth the insurance against a hit on revenue if Foxconn can’t keep up.

It doesn’t hurt that the iMac is a relatively low-volume product (compared to iPads and iPhones) and that Apple already has an assembly facility in Elk Grove, Calif., where it built iMacs until 2004 and once employed 1,500 workers. Apple continues to refurbish iMacs for resale at this site, so it retains some technical and distribution capability. As TechCrunch notes, employment at that facility has jumped 50% this year, suggesting something is up.

While it’s possible that Apple merely messed up on its iMac labeling or that Intel Inside iOS devices is wishful thinking on Intel’s part, it’s also possible that between the company’s flagship PC and its determination to free itself from all vestiges of bitter rival Samsung, Apple is shifting toward “Made in America.” If so, here are a few things to watch for:

  • Without a doubt, Intel shares would surge. The company has been largely shut out of mobile, and gaining Apple’s business — even if it does so under license from ARM — would immediately vault Intel into a market leader. If it inked a mobile deal with Apple, those rumors about Apple seeking to shift its iMacs and MacBooks away from Intel would likely go away as well.
  • Apple’s margins could well take a hit, and even a small decrease could spook investors. Still, computers make up less than a quarter of Apple’s total revenue (and iMacs are a small subset of that), so the actual bottom-line impact of assembling PCs in the U.S. would likely be minimal and may well be offset by “Made in America” goodwill among domestic consumers.
  • Shipping companies could actually take a hit from any loss of Apple business. During the iPad 3 launch, for example, it was reported that Apple’s massive shipments form China (at premium rates) boosted the price DHL charged customers for international shipments by 20%. A steady stream of Apple shipments come from China to the U.S., and the vast majority (if not all) is by air.

At the time of writing, Apple hadn’t officially commented on either the “Assembled in USA” iMacs or the Intel talks. Expect all eyes to be on Cupertino for Cook’s response to both. In the meantime, the search is already on for a way to identify the U.S.-assembled iMacs while still in the box, so that consumers can choose them — and send Apple the message that they prefer to buy American.

As of this writing, Brad Moon from http://www.investorplace.com didn’t own any securities mentioned here.

Made in USA Certified:  www.USA-C.com

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