3. The manufacture of the iPhone


The manufacture of iPhone mostly takes place in East and Southeast Asia, where the labor force is cheap and abundant. China, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia are the main countries that bear those characteristics and participate in the manufacture of iPhone.


While several asian countries assemble the iPhone, the phone is mostly assembled in China. It is estimated that over 80% of the iPhone 5s are assembled in Chinese factories, which have some significant advantages over US factories.



“How and where iPhone is made: A Surprising Report on How Much of Apple’s Top Product is US-manufactured.” FinancesOnline.com. Web. 15 Mar 2015.


Foxconn is a Tanwanese company that specializes in electronics assembly. It manufactures most of the iPhone in the world. One of the biggest advantages it has is the amazing assembly line. It is estimated that one Foxconn factory can employ more than 200,000 workers to its assembly line, which can make more than 50,000 iPhone 5 back plates per day. With its incredible manufacturing efficiency, Foxconn has been iPhone’s manufacture for many years.



Johnson, Joel. “My gadget guilt: Inside the Foxconn iPhone factory”. WIRED. CO. UK. 2 Mar. 2011. Web. 11 April 2015.


There is an interesting story that describes the efficiency of the Chinese assembly factory. In 2007, Steve Jobs decided to have a glass screen for the iPhone just a few weeks before its launch. Most of the American company said the work was impossible. However, a Chinese factory accepted the work by constructing a domitary beforehand so its workers could work 12-hour shifts. When the contract was signed, 8,000 workers were aroused from sleep, given a biscuit and tea, and they started fitting the glass screen into the iPhone to produce 10,000 iPhones a day. If the work were to do in the US, it would take a few months to gather all the workers, while in China it would just take a few days.



Duhigg, Charles & Bradsher, Keith. “How the U.S. Lost Out on iPhone Work”. The New York Times. 21 Jan 2012. Web. 11 April 2015.



The manufacture of iPhone has made diverse social impacts on Chinese society. Because Chinese workers have higher efficiency in assembling iPhone, Apple gives out many manufacturing jobs in China. Since China has lots of people who are in struggle for jobs, the manufacture of the iPhone increases China’s employment to some extend. However, since the Chinese factories have to ensure the efficiency in assembling iPhone, the jobs offered by those factories are often very stressful. More than ten people committed suicide in Foxconn during 2010; most of them did so because of the high pressure in the factory. They always need to work overtime (in a total working hours of 12 per day) to meet the demand of manufacturing iPhone, which made them exhausted. Therefore, while the manufacturing of iPhone give employment to the Chinese people, it also generates negative effects that should not be neglected.

Also, because the assembly has least value in the making of the iPhone, it doesn’t make significant benefit to the economy of China. It is said that the Chinese companies only get a few dollars by assembling an iPhone, a shocking fact considering the phone worths more than 500 dollars. Therefore, the Chinese companies are now trying to develop its own brands and techniques in order to make more profits. Interestingly, the manufacture of iPhone not only give out more jobs to the companies in China, but also indirectly encourages the Chinese companies to innovate in order to make more profit.




173 thoughts on “3. The manufacture of the iPhone

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