The iPhone may be not totally made in America, but it is a genuine American brand, nonetheless. To start with it is conceived and designed in the U.S. Specifically, its brain (or soul, for that matter), the A6 chip, is created using American ingenuity.
To showcase how American the iPhone is, as Coke and McDees, maybe, an infographic published by FinancesOnline.com about how an iPhone 5 is made shows that the top-level technology development and marketing are home-grown; only the peripheral parts are outsourced from different companies.
But when much of a product is made elsewhere, questions are asked whether it’s unpatriotic, even treacherous, for Apple to give away “American jobs” to foreigners, mainly Asians, when many Americans struggle to find work.
A look at the infographic shows that China is a big beneficiary of iPhone’s success, being the country that assembles the majority of iPhone orders. Taiwan, Japan and Korea also benefit as suppliers for LCD panels, batteries and chipsets, among others.
Still, Apple claims to have created over half a million jobs in the U.S., majority of which are in retail, apps development and customer service. But is it enough? Steve Jobs once said that the company’s manufacturing job won’t be coming back to America. And it’s not because of cheap labor; rather, in the cutthroat industry where product turnarounds are fast, the speed and scalability of Asian factories to adjust to immediate customer demands make them an ideal backend plant for Apple.
Ironically, this same “unpatriotic” strategy by Apple to make iPhones may be the reason that keeps the brand competitive in the face of a steady, aggressive competition from Asian smartphones, such as Korea’s Samsung, Taiwan’s HTC, Japan’s Sony Ericsson and even China’s Huawei. These Asian brands have the advantage of using Asian factories to produce their smartphones; Apple is just giving its iPhone the same advantage to keep the only American smartphone ringing on.