New York Times story a sign that Apple is subtly pushing back on the idea of U.S. manufacturing?

“Arguably more than any time in the past decade, the political pressure is on for Apple to bring back at least some of its manufacturing jobs from overseas,” Evan Niu writes for The Motley Fool. “Beyond overtures from President-elect Donald Trump himself, his victory in November shows a resurgence of a nationalist mentality across large swaths of the U.S. population. The company is now tasked with navigating an increasingly complex political landscape while balancing its financial and operational needs, including the massive globalized supply chain infrastructure that it has built over the years.”

“Apple can’t just come out and say ‘no,’ even if it wants to,” Niu writes. “Yesterday, The New York Times published a thorough investigative report on Zhengzhou, China, known as ‘iPhone City.’ It’s a great read for Apple investors, but if you read between the lines, you may notice the possibility that Apple could be subtly pushing back on the current political pressures.”

“One of the ways that Apple has changed under CEO Tim Cook is that it is much more engaged with the media. Trading access for positive coverage is one of the oldest tricks in the media playbook, and Apple long played this game in spades under Jobs,” Niu writes. “Apple is extremely thoughtful, deliberate, and intelligent when it comes to influencing the media, so it’s hard to chalk it up to coincidence.”

Much more in the full article – very highly recommendedhere.

MacDailyNews Take: When reading/watching/hearing the “news,” always ask yourself why that story was written, approved, and published/broadcast. (With actual events, always read/watch/listen to reports on that event from various media outlets. The differences in tone and other discrepancies can be very enlightening.)

Now, despite Apple’s extreme thoughtfulness, deliberateness, and intelligence, someone just has to get President-elect Trump to read The New York Times.

SEE ALSO:
How China built ‘iPhone City’ with billions in perks for Apple supplier Foxconn – December 29, 2016

Apple supplier Foxconn could be signaling U.S. expansion plans amid President-elect Trump’s ‘Made in America’ push – December 29, 2016
President-elect Trump meets privately with Apple CEO Cook, tells tech leaders: ‘I’m here to help you folks do well’ – December 14, 2016
Apple supplier Foxconn plans U.S. expansion amid President-elect Trump’s Made in America push – December 7, 2016
President-elect Trump named TIME’s Person of the Year; tells Apple CEO Cook: ‘It’s my ambition to get Apple to build a great plant, your biggest and your best’ – December 7, 2016
Softbank to invest $50 billion in the U.S., create 50,000 new tech jobs after meeting with President-elect Trump – and Apple supplier Foxconn is in on the deal – December 6, 2016
President-elect Trump invites tech leaders to roundtable in Manhattan next week – December 6, 2016
President-elect Trump meets with Apple board member Al Gore at Trump Tower in Manhattan – December 5, 2016
President-elect Trump tells Apple CEO Tim Cook that he’d like to see Apple make products in the U.S. – November 23, 2016
President-elect Trump says Apple CEO Tim Cook called him after election victory – November 22, 2016
Apple could make iPhones in the U.S.A. under President Trump, sources say – November 17, 2016
Sharp President confirms Apple iPhone transition to OLED displays – October 31, 2016
Apple in talks with Sharp to supply OLED screens for future iPhones – September 30, 2016
Japan’s Softbank just became one of Apple’s most important suppliers – July 18, 2016
Apple supplier Sharp names Foxconn exec as CEO to spearhead revival – May 12, 2016
Apple supplier Sharp preps AMOLED displays after Foxconn acquisition – April 6, 2016

61 Comments

  1. This is a loaded article: “Arguably more than any time in the past decade, the political pressure is on for Apple to bring back at least some of its manufacturing jobs from overseas,”

    Apple should be careful about political pressure cause it often ends up in hateful acts against humanity. For example there used to be all this pressure about Iraq having an intricate weapons of mass destruction plan and all this political pressure about Saddam Hussein being involved in the second 9-11.

    All hogwash but that did not stop the political pressure from being applied until thousands of innocent lives were taken, hundreds tortured and still to this day a good number of people still detained after a decade without justice.

    So yes Apple there is still time to say no, and leave but the window of opportunity is closing. The resurgence of a nationalist mentality particularly for this nation usually means hatred and acts against humanity for others that share the planet and that goes against Apple’s emerging global attitude.

    Stay the course Apple, you are the last beacon of light in a country that has abandoned civilized behavior.

    1. I don’t think most Americans are being “nationalists” but instead just want job opportunities. I realize that international competitiveness is a serious problem though.

      Many nations subsidize and/or support their industries so maybe Trump can help maKe American companies more competitive.

      1. It makes sense that people from anywhere would want job opportunities. You may see international competitiveness as a serious problem, others see it as a challenge and opportunity and move ahead.

        Many nations subsidize and/or support their industries that is true, but the one on top, the most protectionist nation is Apple’s home nation so it looks like that hasn’t worked so far but it you think adding more gasoline to the fire helps, go right ahead, I’m sure to enjoy the fireworks that I anticipate from the chump.

        1. Note sure you got my intention. A major component of cost of a product is labor. This chart from 2009 (a little dated-sure) show the relative costs of manufacturing in select areas of the world. If we want manufacturing jobs back in the states, we will have to do something dramatic. That is my point.

          I’m not a Trump fan, but will wait to see if his business mindset will be an asset. Too many current politicians are not truly about doing what is best for America but instead they do for themselves and their party. (I lament that we don’t have honest and better qualified people run for political office.)

          1. Yes I think you’ve made your point quite well and I concur, one of the substantial costs of manufacturing goods is labour costs.

            So something dramatic would have to be done to renew manufacturing in that country. Then again there are other sectors of the economy that are doing quite well so enhancing those also comes to mind.
            The chart does show up, quite the illustration of cheap labour found in other nations. Thanks for that.

          2. What business mindset (or mind for that matter), he’s historically only in the business of bankrupcy, fraud and hot air. Quilfied??? Trump?! Wtf are you ingesting?

            1. What business mindset (or mind for that matter), he’s historically only in the business of bankrupcy, fraud and hot air.

              Qualified??? Trump?! Wtf are you ingesting?

      1. All you Trumpists are full of shit. The American Economy grew at 3.5% last quarter. The headline in my morning paper here in Wisconsin says, “Economy Keeps Roaring Along”.

        trump was full of shit. We already have the strongest economy in the world. Anyone who wants a blue collar job can move here where we cant fill jobs fast enough.

        All of the orange one’s policies will make this all crash.

        In the modern era it will only take a few people to build a goddamned iPhone.

        Carrier was bribed to keep 700 jobs. BTW- what makes them attractive is they are Union Jobs meaning high pay and good benefits. Fuck Trump and those assholes. You’re all gonna be working for peanuts with no health care.

        1. Trumpmis ull of shit, but you cannot ignore the fact that economic growth is very uneven geographically and there are a lot of places that are getting worse, not better, even in a period where the country as whole is growing. This is pretty much the only reason Trump won. He is the only person that actually talked to these people. He won’t be able to do any of what he promised them, but that’s a whole different discussion

  2. Wow…talk about “loaded.” Your thinking process starting with bringing manufacturing back to the US and it’s relationship to Iraq/911, lives taken and hatred against humanity is simply, acrobatic. Besides wild assumption, “the window of opportunity is closing” and Apple being the “last beacon of light” ad a good dose of drama to your scenario. Do you have tanks and planes flying overhead in your neighborhood, or are you just prone to stage-like exaggeration? Also, please review the dictionary for the definition of “nationalism.” It’s very common for some, like you, to assume what’s emerging is S.S.-like. Check that at the door, b/c it’s a mistake that might diminish the drama feeding your story and causing your personal struggle.

    1. I think you were replying to me.
      Wow talk about missing the mark. My thinking process did not start with bringing back manufacturing to that country it started with the consequences of succumbing to political pressure.

      The window of opportunity is not a wild assumption, it’s a date that is coming up this january. There aren’t tanks and planes flying overhead, I’m from the free and civilized world, we aren’t delusional and paranoid to the point of creating imaginary enemies with imaginary weapons of mass destruction so I’ll lets the stage-like exaggerations to those from that nation, they are much better suited for it.

      Gee it’s common to assume that what’s emerging is SS like? Like the Nazis? Goodness know, as scum as the Nazis were they had at least a shred of dignity by abiding by the Geneva convention, unlike Apple’s home nation who circumvented it. Face it, that nation makes the Nazi’s look good in some spot.

      Personal struggle? Ha that’s a laugh. Yes I love peace, that’s such a threat for a war mongering nation, and we all know who that nation is. You might want to think on who is actually doing the acts against humanity instead of attacking one who is pointing the blatantly obviously to the blatantly oblivious.

      1. That’s an interesting image. Is there a list of ‘wars’ that can be looked at for reference and verification? I’m sure each person has their own definition of what level of conflict would constitute a ‘war’ and can decide for themselves the truth in that statement.

        1. Excellent question and in 2014 I went through the listing I found at wikipedia (list of wars involving that country and timeline of that country being at war and got a slightly different answer.
          In 2014 I got 191 years at war out of 238 years (1776 to 2014), a result of 80% of that country’s history being at war.

          The image suggests 222/238 or 93% of their history at war.

          I tend to lean towards my numbers but both I think illustrate the point that the country is a war monger, with well over 50% of their history has been at war.

          Thanks again for bringing it up Xennex1170, stuff like this always needs to be taken with a grain of salt.

            1. You know, for once, instead of simply mouthing off, why don’t you do your OWN research for once and come up with FACTS to refute his data?

              I know, I know… it’s a novelty, making you use your brain for once, but who knows? You might come to like it once you’ve tried it.

            2. You know, for once, instead of simply mouthing off as you usually do, why don’t you do your OWN research for once and come up with FACTS to refute his data?

              I know, I know… it’s a novelty, making you use your brain for once, but who knows? You might come to like it once you’ve tried it.

            3. Botvinnik, come on you know I’m pro free and civilized world. It’s you that are anti-free and civilized world.

              It’s not my data, it’s wikipedia’s data that I presented.

              Now insofar as the data you’ve presented on the topic. Oh wait you didn’t. Nothing to address the issue, just a biased unwarranted unjustified attack on your part.

              I see that you are still a real patriot.

            4. I’ve been reading your posts for years, you relish describing any American mistake. You are the antithesis of “free and civilized world”: an advocate of the global superstate. You simply refuse to grasp what our constitutional republic is and the Bill of Rights that is its essence. So, don’t piss down my leg and then tell me it’s raining. You are a charlatan.

            5. Now now botvinnik, I only focus on the acts against humanity your nation inflicts on the international scale. I leave the domestic stuff alone, that’s your business.

              You simply refuse to bring forth any relevant data to this topic, how long your country has been at war and go for the attack.

              I may be a charlatan but it’s so much better than being a yellow bellied bully and a coward of a terrorist nation.

              Come back with more insults it’s to be expected. If you want to really surprise me, come back with a clear number of years that your country has been at war using data that you feel valid. That would be really surprising but I doubt you have the intestinal fortitude to do something like that. It would distract you from your personal attacks.

            6. Maybe this will help you:
              The United States is not a democracy, it is a constitutional republic. Anyone who thinks otherwise needs a course in Civics 101. The true purpose of a constitutional republic is to defend the rights of the individual over the majority. These rights, given by the Creator and not the government, are enumerated clearly in the first ten amendments of the Constitution.

              “A democracy can be defined as two wolves and a lamb deciding what is for dinner.”
              – B. Franklin

            7. Nice smoke and mirrors botvinnik but like usual you miss the mark.

              I came up with a number of years that your mongering country has been at war. You piss all over the references and offer no alternative like a true pathetic patriot.

              Go ahead and quote all the distracting bullish fecal material you want about your wonderful constipation, uh constitution and definition about your nation being a demoncracy or a repubic, it’s irrelevant to the point that you are a war mongering nation. Heck the last president has served the whole term with your country being at war, and while certainly you can sling some mud at this situation, it was the previous president that started it. Repubikkkan or demoncratic, your country has lost the moral high ground, and does it ever show.

              If you had a spine botvinnik you’d step up to the place and give a number of years that your country has been at war and from that we could discuss in a civilized manner the implications but so far you are too gutless to do so and thus you are reduced to what you do best, insult people, try the smoke and mirrors distraction and avoid the issue at all cost.

              Happy New Year by the way.

        1. That’s a new one to me. Got a reference to it?

          ” In 1776, the Second Continental Congress declared that there was a new, independent nation, the United States of America, not just a collection of disparate colonies.”

          That’s from wikipedia by the way if you want to trash them for being biased, well put up or shut up. Oh wait where you are from it’s attack attack attack.

          War mongers, how pathetic.

            1. Thanks, it sure beats being a citizen of a terrorist nation who doesn’t have what it takes to bring forth a single reference that can be agreed upon. Kinda of explains your consistent attack attack it’s the botvinnik attack. What a patriot you are, ready to make your country hate….some more.

            2. That sounds so great, I’ll keep talking but something tells me that it won’t happen cause you aren’t true barbarian warmongers, barbarian warmongers I can have a bit of respect for, yellow bellied bully warmongers from a terrorist doesn’t ‘t bother me one bit.

              So go ahead, you already are the first kid on your block to detonate a nuclear bomb on an unarmed population, go for the sequel, you know you want to. Don’t worry about breaking any international laws, you are so above those.

              Come on, I’m waiting, start the count down, put your money where your mouth is.

            3. In response to “you’re weird” post.

              Now that’s something we can agree upon. That’s what I like about you botvinnik, you stick to it until a compromise is found.

      2. “Attacking one who is pointing out the blatantly obvious to the blatantly oblivious” — I hadn’t heard that charming construction, is it yours? It’s a very chilling remark in some respects, because it illustrates the well-known confirmation bias, that inescapable and irrational part of human nature that insists on our innocence though our hands be bloody, and dismisses reports to the contrary as lies. Thus, since “truth” is instinctively self-defined, successful diplomacy based on “truth” is impossible; it must be based on the self-interest of the negotiating parties.

        1. “Beauty is truth, truth beauty, that is all Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know’.” – Keats

          “Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all.” – Apostle John

          “If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.”
          – Mark Twain

        2. Ah I’m so glad someone is paying attention, yes insofar as I know that tidbit is one of my many constructions that have given me the reputation of being a cunning linguist in some other circles as opposed to those who have to resort to quoting others in order to compensate for what they lack.

          Actually I believe it is the analytical rational part of human nature that does that insistance of innocence when the hand is caught in the cookie jar and that this happens when the development of the irrational, emotive, intuitive qualities are atrophied.

          In this case the self-interest of one party omits any possibility of negotiating diplomatically resulting in a broken cookie jar, all the cookies gone and the once living loving breathing parental guidance of humanity is turned into ground beef to be fed at the dogs at Guanotrumpo on the Bay Resort.

          That’s why your nation requires all of that superior rational weaponry, to compensate for your quasi total lack of ethics and morality and to defend yourself against all those countries that have imaginary weapons of mass destruction programs. I’m sure your new chump will be working that aspect very hard but be careful, you may end up trying to bully someone your own size and that’s going to lead you to a world of pain that you have never felt before.

          You’ve been warned.

          Happy New Year by the way.

          1. Barack Obama pledged, in 2008, to shutter Gitmo. Since then, Congress and the courts have fussed and stormed over the issue, showing little political will. Perhaps after January 20, the new political majority can blow past all the finagling and somehow rub out that symbol of inhumanity and mutual treachery. Or, they may gouge the eyes of the sissies by doubling down and keeping the facility, as you seem to predict (with your droll renaming of it to Guanotrumpo on the Bay Resort).

            1. I remember that about your current president wanting to close Gitmo, and he’s going to apparently release a few more of the 59 or so detainees.

              I am refraining from what the chump will do, I’m open to the possibilities you suggest but it would not surprise me if he expands and makes special Gitmotrumpo Hotels for domestic purposes a part of your terrorscape. It’s wait and see what exactly he will do but my gut feeling is that he’ll be a great tabloid president.

              I do admire that you acknowledge that symbol of inhumanity and treachery, so many are such denial that they attack anyone that mentions it.

              Stay beautiful.

            2. Thanks for making your post though I’m not sure at exactly what you are saying so I’ll read it that your country is not the only terrorist country on this planet. If I want to learn more about other terrorist countries look towards Iran, N.K. and even Saudi Arabia.

              I hope we are close enough.

              Two of those countries you mention are in the Middle East, they have been warring their for centuries so they know a lot of the tricks, grant you that, though when it comes to military budget and nuclear arsenals they are a far cry behind the number 1 terrorist nation. The other, North Korea, well who have they invaded lately?

              It’s a good thing that there are other terrorist nations around to keep the #1 terrorist nation occupied.

            3. Every political leader is grist for the tabloid mill, but none is better suited to it than Donald Trump; you are right about that. But he has already weathered multiple storms of scandal and come out smelling like, if not roses, at least considerably better than the stench emanating from the decaying carcasses of his vanquished political opponents. Winning is its own perfume.

            4. Indeed, that’s why he first came out as the top of my list very early on, no one else had the glitz, the glam, that thin veneer cover of an oil snake salesman, than the chump. It was such an easy pick for me.

              The odds are still good he’ll be signed in without ever having to need to show his income tax, kind of like buying a car from a used car salesman without even taking it for a test drive or kicking the tires. That will be great for your country as long as you push your money and might around and many of the smaller ones will continue to be intimidated but everyone knows and agrees that you have the best perfume bottle on the planet. What won’t be said is that your perfume smells like a cesspool, save for a few weird people like people. It’s an opportunity to take responsibility for your actions but no, you attack any and every messenger who would like to see you change your ways so that you can really succeed. It kinda adds that rotten eggs touch to the eau the wanker or whatever it is you call the perfume.

              Great bottle by the way, I’m sure your country will sell lots to people who judge a book by it’s cover, and force the others to buy lots and buy now. Operators are standing by.

  3. Why, of all the American companies on the planet, do they have to go after Apple to move its product production back to the U.S. As it is, Apple products already cost more than its rivals. If the costs go up any higher then it’s Apple and shareholders who lose out. Wall Street certainly isn’t going to give Apple a better valuation if Apple provides American workers with jobs. All Wall Street wants to see from Apple is higher profits and that’s not going to happen if Apple has to do its manufacturing and assembly here in the U.S.

    Apple sells more iPhones overseas than it does in the U.S. and there are plenty of American consumers eagerly buying S. Korean smartphones instead of iPhones. Even less iPhones will be bought here if iPhones cost more.

    These politicians should be going after the clothing industry to bring back jobs to the U.S. Are there any articles of clothing at all that are made in the U.S.? It’s just darn unfortunate everyone is deciding to go after Apple to bring back jobs when there are plenty of other companies that have their manufacturing and production done overseas.

    1. Were exactly are these golden eggs?
      Most of their cash is off shore.
      Most of their Jobs are off shore
      So a handful of investors are making some money, not really helping the U.S. Economy. Now I am not in the U.S. so this does not affect me just wondering were all the golden eggs are that Apples home country should not be looking to benefit from.

      1. That may be true, but:

        Apple Inc. is the largest tax payer in the US, paying 2.5x more ($234B in taxable revenue) than the next largest (Microsoft, $94B in taxable revenue)

        Apple Inc. employs (in the US):
        • over 60,000 full-time employees;
        • over 30,000 retail employees in Apple Stores;
        • indirectly, over 600,000 independent American developers (iOS and macOS).

        There may be plenty of Apple’s cash earned off-shore (and taxed in Ireland at very low rates), but what is earned in the US is significantly higher than anyone else, and over half a million Americans who are employed because of Apple and its products (plus all the others who have their jobs thanks to the spending of this over half a million) is not such a small number.

        I’m not exactly an expert on golden eggs, but Apple seems to be making some serious money, both for American taxpayers, as well as for ordinary workers. As for the investors, they haven’t really seen much gains (other than dividends) for a few years now…

        1. Perhaps to strengthen your argument for “paying 2.5x more”, when you state “largest tax payer in the US” you should also state how much of that taxable revenue was actually paid in taxes in both $amount and percentage of the taxable revenue. We know for corporations, due to all sorts of tax rules/loopholes, it is not often that the same tax rate is paid. Otherwise all you have stated is that Apple’s taxable revenue and not actual paid tax was 2.5x higher

          1. The data I could find is from 2012, but it isn’t dramatically different this year (except it is proportionally higher);

            Total tax provision: $8.2B
            Total income (foreign and domestic): $55.7
            Effective US tax rate: around 16%

            Much of the foreign part of that income has been taxed overseas (some of it in Ireland, at that ridiculously low tax rate), but IRS doesn’t really care that much about what you were taxed and will tax you on that profit, if you were to bring it back to the US.

            Apple claims that their effective tax rate in 2012 was around 26% (when taking out the already taxed foreign profit).

            On the matter of “paying 2.5x more”, even without the absolute numbers from 2012 quoted above, the claim still stands on its own and has merit. Apple isn’t some sort of magician in the American business, who miraculously, deviously and unscrupulously keeps foreign profits offshore, in order to cheat IRS out of its money. Apple’s effective tax rate is inline with all other players in the industry (MS, Google, FB, etc). When we look at MSFT’s bottom line, we see more-or-less similar situaiton: large part of profits comes from overseas, and most of it stays there, letting MSFT only file taxes on domestic profits only, making effective tax rate in mid- to high tens (just about the same as Apple). So, since all other elements of the math are roughly the same, the 2.5x number pretty much stands — actual, paid tax was 2.5x higher than the next highest corporate taxpayer in the US (Microsoft).

            1. Thank you, that is more informative but still doesn’t show that Apple has paid 2.5x the taxes of the next largest (you stated Microsoft). Since 2012 Apple has expanded into many countries and highly likely to have kept profits outside the U.S. As we know Corporations do not pay taxes on commercial paper (bonds they offer) used to pay their obligations. We know Apple has done this in recent years and is likely getting a tax reduction for that ‘debt’ (pretty smart of them). Between the two it seems Apple’s remaining taxable ‘profit’ is rather slim in the U.S. relative to it’s rivals (possibly closer to on par) and if as you say tax rate is inline with the others I submit it is highly unlikely the difference is as high as 2.5x though that multiple may have been true 4-5 years ago.

      2. That’s because US-held cash has been used for dividends and buybacks. Foreign cash is waiting for Congress to make up its mind on tax reform. ~2/3rds of Apple’s sales are overseas so that’s why almost all of their cash is there.

  4. To bring jobs “back”, they had to be here originally, which they were not. Second, Apple already has brought some Mac Pro assembly to the US. I’m sure when Steve was still here, he had plans to bring back assembly to the US in his 5 and 10yr plans. Unfortunately, most of that would likely be due to improvements in robotics and automation, just like Steve’s first Mac factory.

  5. From the beginning of specialized labor & production, maybe 10,000 years before Christ, each area of the Eastern Mediterranean (Mesoptomania & whatever Egypt was called) certain areas became “specialized.”

    Some specialized in grains, some meat, some dates, nuts & fruit and others timber and others metal, oil and candles. Other became ship & cart builders on rivers and coastlines and others traders/shippers on land and sea.

    Each area specialized in what they were best at. One area of what is now Lebanon may have excelled at timber production and traded timber for grain, wine and such.

    That is how the mercantile society of the world evolved. No one area can “do it all.” No country can be isolated and do it all today. Raw material supplies alone eliminate the “do it all” concept.

    I can see Apple doing some tight robotic final assembly of items in the U.S., but a lot of the components in those products might come from the supplier factories in East Asia.

    We live in a very cost competitive world. With wages high in the U.S., there is no profitable way to build small hand assembled lightweight complex items in the US in massive volumes. The number of people required to build 100 million cell phones a year is immense and efficiency requires massive facilities with people living close by.

    The Marxists want to tell manufacturers what & where to make things, but that didn’t work out very well. The Communists didn’t fare any better with the Yugo.

    Governments should limit themselves to deciding how their military builds and buys things and leave the consumer economy to the corporations to sort it out as best they can.

    Countries need to trade to survive. Everyone needs to work on their own specialties and create their own new opportunities. It is beyond the ability of government employees to be able to figure out how to run businesses.

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