Move over China! Japan wants to take over iPhone manufacturing

“Being an Apple manufacturer is a pretty lucrative market if you can get in on it, which is why it’s no surprise to hear that Apple’s existing partners are constantly fending off challenges from upstarts promising to do whatever they can do — only cheaper and better,” Luke Dormehl reports for Cult of Mac.

“According to a new report, Japanese manufacturers are currently making a concerted effort to secure more orders from Apple, which currently deals mainly with companies based in Taiwan and China,” Dormehl reports. “The main Japan-based company mentioned in today’s report is printed circuit board maker Ibiden, which is said to be trying to steal away iPhone orders from Apple’s existing PCB suppliers, Unimicron Technology, Unitech Printed Circuit Board and Compeq Manufacturing.”

“Apple already works with Japanese smartphone display maker Japan Display. Recently it was reported that Apple has struck a deal with the company to build a $1.4 billion factory dedicated solely to smartphone displays,” Dormehl reports. “This plant is set to open near the central Japanese city of Ishikawa.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Competition makes the world go ’round! (And Apple’s margins go up.)


    1. The US and China, are not on bad terms. This man made island thing is just a game. the US, theoretically can do the same thing. Actually it would be interesting if the US and Japan were to build an artificial island 300 miles away, just to be annoying.

    2. Trust me, China does not see this as a game. They are serious about acquiring resource (energy) rich land and are intent on booting out everyone from the south china sea. They are on an economic collision course with the USA. China is stealing everything they can’t buy to reach a state of technological parity with the USA. With the vastness and population of China, they are poised to quickly overwhelm us when they do achieve technological parity.

      1. Chaz, to me it seems like China is running out of land to turn into toxic wastelands. This is why I think they are branching out like this. Plus it doesn’t really matter how many man made islands they make, based on the exponential increase of global warming, those islands will have to face all what mother nature will throw at them very shortly. Now one can see the irony, as in the past the big wigs in the US sent all their manufacturing to China to save a lousy dollar, now they’ve created a monster. Should of kept the work in the US instead, now its biting them back in the butt! Normally it is Chinese philosophy not to tread one self too far in ones advances as one may not see all the consequences that may lie ahead! But try to tell that to those communist trolls that ruined China! Good luck!

  1. I can only see robotic tasks succeeding in Japan, and for that matter if that were the case, then the good old USA wouldn’t be any more expensive. But manual labor, China, Vietnam, and other South East Asia countries are king, excepting Japan of course which has decent labor laws, as far as I know.

        1. Japan is worldwide leader in robot manufacturing. Unlike Foxconn, they would not need a million workers to manufacture for Apple.

          Foxconn has set a goal for itself to create robots that would gradually replace much of manual labour, but those robots have turned out to be not that great, and, besides that, they are behind schedule.

          Those couple of facts could theoretically mean that Japan can manufacture iPhones.

          However, of course, Apple is fine as it is, so nothing means that there will be changes necessarily.

        2. If the majority of ‘workers’ is robotic and they already get their screens and cameras from Japan adding one more component sourced from Japan for the iPhone will just make manufacturing in Japan even more attractive cost and time-wise over China. So many cost factors to consider when you deal with human assembly workers and international shipping.

    1. Most Japanese manufacturers (not all) have fantastic quality control. If you want to have something done precisely and accurately Japan is the place to do it.

  2. I’d like to see this happen–just for quality alone–but doubt that it ever will. China is able to drive the bids lower w/ cheaper labor than Japan.

  3. YES! I’m a Nippon-o-phile. They’ve got talent out the ears there looking for work and they’re not going to user US money to screw us, so to speak. From what I can tell, the usual issue holding them back is wages. Jump on the wages sine wave Japan and join the latest future.

    1. Oh, very nice. Let’s pull out our racist vocabulary.

      Seriously, no need to be an A-hole when there are plenty of legitimate gripes about the Chinese government to make your argument.

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