Questions: How the US Lost Out on the iPhone

1. Who wrote this article, when, how did they gather this information? Did they provide Apple with this information and ask them to comment on their data?

2. Profile Apple:

a. How many products and what kind does it produce

b. What year did Apple move to global supply chains and why? What do they claim about foreign workers and factories

c. What is Apple’s strategy for production? Which other industries follow this model?

d. What is the rationale for this? How does Apple relate this to innovation?

e. How many workers are employed by foreign contractors in producing Apple products?

f. How many workers are employed in US by Apple? Overseas?

g. What is Apple’s profit per employee?

h. At the time of this article, what is the current value of the stock? What has been the increase in value since 2005?

i. What is an example of a manager’s salary package?

3. Discuss IPhone Production

j. What is the current market for iPhones – in how many countries is it sold?

k. What countries provide parts for the iPhone

l. How does Apple claim Asia outperforms the US?

m. What would be the cost to produce the i-phone in the US?

n. Compare cost of building an apple in Calif, Singapore, Taiwan. What does Apple attribute this difference to?

o. Describe FoxConn. Where is it located? What does it do?

p. Describe the Foxconn facility in Shenzhen China

q. What impact has the use of real glass had on the technology market?

r. What has happened to the company Corning Glass, the supplier of glass to Apple

s. What can you say about the pace of innovation in this technology market?

BROADER QUESTIONS FOR CLASS DISCUSSION

t. How did Apple solve the problem of scratches on screens just before the phone was due to go into production?

u. What has been the impact of this technology modernization on jobs? Which jobs are disappearing? What has been the impact of robotics? Which generation might lose out even as there are pressures to push up wages for the unskilled?

v. Despite job loss in the United States, what does Apple say have been the benefits of their global strategy?

w. What is the story of Eric Saragoza? What about his desire for work/life balance? Is he a victim of changes in production? What might be some policy solutions to this example of job loss and outsourcing?

x. There is so much innovation, of new ideas, marketing, software, alternative energy in the US. Why are jobs in solar, wind and semiconductor fabrication going abroad? What might be some policy solutions?

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