Yes, Microsoft and Apple will have to manufacture

“The battle of the century is in IP. Who will control the intellectual property of the emerging technology environment?” Haydn Shaughnessy writes for Forbes.

“A device is an object that needs to be manufactured. In the high tech future IP resides as much in the object as it does in the software,” Shaughnessy writes. “More device-centricity will rain down on us as the internet of things infiltrates the kitchen, the car and eventually our clothes. But American companies are disadvantages here because they don’t make things.”

Shaughnessy writes, “The reality for Microsoft, though, but also for Google and Apple too, is that none of them are really in control of innovation across their devices or platforms… as device-centricity becomes central to the future of all these companies, the lack of hardware production expertise is going to tell.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: A very confused piece. Microsoft and Google, yes, they’re going to have problems. They are way behind Apple. Apple has Jony Ive and 30+ years of hardware expertise. The design and engineering of winning hardware is the valuable commodity. Making and putting the pieces together is not. Simply compare Jony Ive’s salary vs. any (or all) Foxconn assembly line workers’ to further appreciate the value gulf.

Jony Ive will never be replaced by a robot.

Yes, a Wi-Fi or a 4G chip has value, but these types of items are essentially commodities that must be sold in bulk in order to hope to generate a profit.

Apple has a ton of hardware production expertise, especially versus the likes of a search engine company and beleaguered Microsoft, both known lately for trying to knockoff Apple products, software and services. As long as Apple strives to avoid boxing themselves in (as they mistakenly did with Samsung and are now in the process of correcting) Apple is fully in control of innovation across their devices and platforms.


  1. This is ridiculous the same logic would claim that ARM has no future as it must have no deign expertise because it builds nothing or has control over its manufacturing. This is like something written in the 70s its so out of touch with technology and simplistic by nature.

  2. Wow. Talk about ignoring important facts because they conflict with your theory.

    Manufacturing will always be done for the lowest cost possible while getting the quality yield necessary. Doesn’t matter if it’s in China, Brazil, India, etc.

    The real value in any device is what it can do, and that comes down primarily to software. And software is about ideas, about who found a way for X device to do A, B, and C easily and pleasantly.

    Apple has great resources it uses for designing hardware and innovating hardware. Apple just doesn’t make what it designs; it hires companies which do nothing but make hardware to make Apple’s products. So? Nothing wrong with that. In fact, it can be a benefit to Apple because Apple can move manufacturing more easily than if it had built a plant in Chile, and now a political uprising threatens the plant.

    What a silly article. I’m sorry I gave him a page hit for it.

  3. Doesn’t anyone agree that Apple should be building its own assembly facilities and workforce? Apple has $100 billion sitting overseas and what else is that money going to be used for? I’m for all robotic factories, but I’m sure any product Apple designs will certainly require at least some hand-assembly. Foxconn already messed up on quality control with that 8 million unit batch of iPhones.

    Maybe Apple should be taking total control of manufacturing. I certainly don’t know the operating costs of assembly plants throughout the world and maybe there’s a lot of overhead costs, but I’m just thinking that maybe only a strictly Apple-run facility can provide the sort of quality control that’s needed. I just hope Pegatron can provide better quality control.

  4. Why didn’t you say it was Forbes? All their tech and tech-business journalists study at the knee of Rob Enderle. They’re nothing but SEO hit-whores.

    Please use “Think before you click” links for Forbes. Total trash.

  5. What do you expect? It’s from Forbes. It stopped being relevant decades ago. Here’s hoping this magazine dies a horrible death. But I must say that the pages of Forbes work wonders lining a parakeet cage…

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