Tim Cook Explains Why iPhones Are Made In China, And It’s Not Production Costs
Apple holds no bars when it comes to talking about its quality and conviction for excellent user experience: its products are futuristic yet easy to use, hand gestures are the new buttons, and your phone isn’t top-notch if it doesn’t have a notch. Don’t believe its words? The company has also issued a press release parading its users’ positive reviews.
There is one fact that usually goes under the radar, however. Look at the back of a box and you’ll read, “Designed by Apple in California… Assembled in China.” Those who have considered selling their organs to fund their iPhones might clench their fists and ask, “Why charge US$999 for the iPhone X then?”
The reason why Apple products are made in China, as per Tim Cook, probably isn’t the one you’re thinking of now.
Speaking at the Fortune Global Forum in Guangzhou in early December, Apple’s CEO explained:
“The number one reason why we like to be in China is the people. China has extraordinary skills. And the part that’s the most unknown is there’s almost two million application developers in China that write apps for the iOS App Store. These are some of the most innovative mobile apps in the world.”
Cook cited that the technology involved in making the unassuming AirPods requires “extremely” skilled suppliers. “[Y]ou might think it couldn’t be that hard because it’s really small. The AirPods have several hundred components in them… without getting into really nerdy engineering—it’s really hard.”
“There’s a confusion about China… that companies come to China because of low labor cost. I’m not sure what part of China they go to but the truth is China stopped being the low labor cost country many years ago… The reason is because of the skill, and the quantity of skill in one location and the type of skill it is.”
According to Apple, China faces a stigma that should have vanished years ago. The country’s talents have since shifted their focus from yielding low cost products to creating premium value experiences.
However, this arguably overbearing dependence on overseas factories has incited considerable criticism. Insider reports about Chinese employees being overworked have emerged in recent years, one of which provides a dismal account of the notorious ‘Foxconn City’.
You can watch the full interview with Tim Cook below.
Video via Fortune