Thinking about Apples…

Yeah, apples…one of my very favorite fruits.  Personally I love the Fuji and Gala apples the best, although a Granny Smith with caramel is always quite tasty!  While I love apples, not all apples give you the warm fuzzies.  There have been a number of articles recently in the New York Times that have called Apple Inc. to task about their own supply chain operation.

Approximately a year ago, at a function attended by both Barack Obama and Steve Jobs, the President (while taking questions from the people attending) asked Jobs what it would take to make iPhones in the United States.  Jobs told someone else attending that those jobs aren’t coming back to the States.  This NY Times article talks in detail about Apple and how they have located much of the supply chain overseas and in particular, China.  If you want further detail into the working conditions of these wonderful Chinese factories, read this article about human costs of an iPad.

So why does all of this manufacturing have to go overseas?  Yep, you guessed it, the almighty dollar!!  Just how much money do they have to make?  Quoting from the first NY Times article above:  “…bosses explained how the California plant stacked up against overseas factories: the cost, excluding the materials, of building a $1,500 computer in Elk Grove was $22 a machine. In Singapore, it was $6. In Taiwan, $4.85.”  Hmmm….I am thinking that $1500.00 – $22.00 is still a TON of money per computer.

I guess Americans haven’t embraced the 12 hour day, 6-day week quite yet…oh, and the $17/day wage either.   The sad part of this is that it seems everywhere you go, people have either an iPod, iPad, iPhone, or a Mac.  We want our toys, but what happens when the middle class (who used to have these jobs) is completely gone and there is no market for those wonderful little toys?  Well, I am thinking that the Apple execs don’t care one little bit (again from the above NY Times article)…

The biggest rewards, however, have often gone to Apple’s top employees. Mr. Cook, Apple’s chief, last year received stock grants — which vest over a 10-year period — that, at today’s share price, would be worth $427 million, and his salary was raised to $1.4 million. In 2010, Mr. Cook’s compensation package was valued at $59 million, according to Apple’s security filings.

Yeah…see what I mean?  Do you really think Apple cares one little bit about the hand that feeds it?  I think not.


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