MacBooks now made in China would cost how much more if made in US?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by The Dillhole, Oct 21, 2008.

  1. The Dillhole macrumors newbie

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    #1
    I recently received my new aluminum MacBook from China, where I am told that the product is manufactured with very cheap labor. I hope the workers aren't being exploited. Has anyone ever figured out how much more MacBooks would cost if they were manufactured domestically? Thank you.
     
  2. mark! macrumors 65816

    mark!

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    #2
    This is all off the top of my head so take this with a grain of salt but...

    I'm pretty sure that Apple has been getting all of their stuff manufactured in China for a while. While there is labor exploitation, many are satisfied with simply being employed.

    Also, if I'm not mistaken, Apple has come under the spotlight once before for the factory working conditions in China (I think this was about a year ago). I can't remember how that turned out though.

    I don't think there is a way for any of us to know how much it would cost if they moved those jobs to the US, but it'd be so high no one would even dream of paying for a true domestic Apple product.
     
  3. da2005pizimp macrumors 6502

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    #3
    yeah but if they moved to the US then it would create jobs for Americans. My aunt was just "let go" b/c her job is moving some place in asia. These companies should be hit hard by taxes for moving out of the US
     
  4. Aea macrumors 6502a

    Aea

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    #4
    On the contrary we should reduce their taxes, you're so naive.
     
  5. MasterNile macrumors 65816

    MasterNile

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    #5
    You also have to take into account how much money they would save as you figure quality control would be better meaning less replacements/repairs, although I realize it would still be pretty expensive, I don't think a lot of people take that into account when realizing the cost of using domestic labor.
     
  6. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #6
    I hope Apple continues to make their computers in China. I'm not sure how I'd be able to use a computer without mercury, lead or melamine in it.
     
  7. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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    #7
    What makes you think that a bunch of minimum wage labour in the USA would be any better than in China? Do you really think that a load of people dodging a "career" of asking "would you like to supersize that" would turn out a quality product? Or would they just slap them together without much care? I know which I think is more likely...
     
  8. MasterNile macrumors 65816

    MasterNile

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    #8
    I suppose you do have a point, but they also have supervisors that make the big bucks and would prefer to keep their jobs. I suppose I'm mainly basing my previous post on the fact that I've gotten all of my Macs (3 total) from the US as they were refurbished and never had any problem w/ any of them, but I suppose that's a lot smaller scale than mass producing the whole line from the US and it's always possible that I just got lucky with my 3 refurbs (iMac, MB, and Mac Mini)
     
  9. da2005pizimp macrumors 6502

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    #9
    ummm ok

    All i'm saying is that we need more jobs here. When you lose your job b/c they are moving out of the country then maybe you will understand.
     
  10. synth3tik macrumors 68040

    synth3tik

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    #10
    Chinese laborer = approx $3-4 hourly
    American laborer = approx $12-20 hourly

    This came from my former employer and most likely differs from Apple, but is relative to the tech market.
     
  11. savar macrumors 68000

    savar

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    #11
    True. The amount of human labor that goes into making a macbook is not very big, however. Most of the process is automated. Far more of the cost goes into materials, overhead, and profits than into labor.

    I wouldn't worry too much about the Chinese workers. Most big companies play by the rules now (meaning no exploitation) -- and it sure beats the pants out of communist labor structures: living in the factory and having every aspect of your life managed by your overseer (when you wake up, when you sleep, where you go, etc.)
     
  12. iJon macrumors 604

    iJon

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    #12
    American's can't and don't want to afford products that could be made in America.
     
  13. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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    #13
    For so long we've been looking at it in terms of, "Oh no, we can't give these jobs to American workers! They'll demand actual salaries instead of pittances!" that we're kinda brainwashed that way. So we reap what we sow: a lot of jobs that could be making people good money here are in China. Or Malaysia. Or wherever.

    Yeah, a Mac would cost you more, but if you had that job (or a similar one with another manufacturer in the U.S.), you could afford it that much better. That's the way it was in this country during the entire post-WWII industrial boom.

    Six of one, half a dozen of the other, IMO.

    Don't forget, we didn't start exporting jobs so we could have cheap goods. We started exporting jobs because companies wanted to keep more of the profit for themselves. It was hardly altruistic.

    At least if we have those jobs in the US, we do two things: we give ourselves more rewarding jobs than handing out shopping carts at Wal-Mart, and we stop sending so much money to countries that don't like us very much. (Where've we heard that before? ;) )
     
  14. larapumkin macrumors regular

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    #14
    some of my friends work in fashion industry in LA, and many wholesaler's are changing their manufacturer to chinese. donno exactly how cheaper they offer but my friends explained briefly, like complicately sew leather jacket cost more than half less than producing those in here if they do it from china..including packing and shipping costs
     
  15. mark! macrumors 65816

    mark!

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    #15
    Not that 100% of either of these populations could/would be employed, but I'm sure the 300 million people here will fare better than the 1 billion in China whether or not the jobs come back here or stay in China.

    The matter of creating jobs is a lot more complicated than you'd like to think it is.

    People in America (or rather, the people that run American companies) would rather outsource these jobs than create domestic ones for people who don't even want them. Globalization :eek:
     
  16. The Dillhole thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #16
    So the per unit cost may not be much higher if MacBook made in the US!

    Given what another person said about Apple products not being particularly labor-intensive for manufacturing, this difference in hourly wage may not translate to a tremendously higher per unit cost to the American consumer. I'm sure the accountants in Cupertino have figured all this out and have decided that it makes more business sense to manufacture in China, but I would really like to know how much more it would cost me my MacBook were a US-made product. I'm all for globalization, but if paying another few hundred dollars means no worker exploitation, then I'm all for it.
     
  17. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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    #17
    Unfortunately, Dillhole, you're in the minority (being willing to pay a lot more). (And I doubt it would add that much more anyway. As savar alluded to, there may not be all that much human labor (vs. robotics, e.g.).

    Actually, there are a few furniture manufacturers who already have or are considering moving back to the states. Reason: when they add in shipping the raw materials over there, then shipping the finished product back over here, it actually costs more to make it in China than in the United States.

    Now, if you want to read about exploitation, check out the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands, where passports of workers are seized and women are forced to get abortions.
     
  18. da2005pizimp macrumors 6502

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    #18
    that's good to hear about furniture companies moving back to the states. and i' also willing to pay the extra amount to have an american made product. I'm not hating on other countries but we need to take of ourselves first.
     
  19. it5five macrumors 65816

    it5five

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    #19
    Most of my clothes are made here in the US. But I don't buy it just because of that. I wouldn't have any problems buying clothes from overseas if I knew the workers were getting a fair wage and were being treated like human beings. Until that can be guaranteed, I'll continue to buy my clothes from US manufacturers.
     
  20. MasterNile macrumors 65816

    MasterNile

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    #20
    See but even if the workers are being exploited they are not working in shops where they are being exploited for the fun of it they are working there because they need the bare minimum of funds that it provides

    And as far as the people saying yeah it would be nice if they were built in the US but I'll still buy them no matter what:

    This is the point though, it's not like you say if the Mac computers are built in China I refused to buy them, and this is all the higher ups see, "we're making sales so why move the operation to America when we're doing so good making them in China with cheap labor and selling them for big bucks in the US," now don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to say boycott Apple till they start manufacturing in the US, if a company doesn't have enough money to stay afloat there's no way they're going to move their operation to the US, I'm saying stand up and be heard, send an email, voice your opinion although it may fall upon deaf ears, it also may not and a lot of times telling a company that they've lost a sale because of this may cause them to consider different approaches and maybe even move their manufacturing to the US or at least to the UK where they have their other facility. As was stated before a lot of the process is automated so if it makes some kind of business sense it's a possibility of it happening (like the removal of FW from the MB or the glassy screen on the MBP make some kind of sense).
     
  21. Henri Gaudier macrumors 6502a

    Henri Gaudier

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    #21
    With 25$ billion in the bank isn't it simply greed? I'd prefer a company with 10 billion in the bank but who gave meaningful employment in it's own country any day. Second choice would be a company that made overseas, who could have had 25 billion in the bank but instead chose to have a better paid workforce and lower high street prices. So old and yet so naive! How do I keep my youthful idealism? :D
     
  22. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #22
    And that's when you proved robbieduncan correct. ;)

    They've been made in China or Taiwan for a looooong time now.

    Americans want more products to be made in America, as long as they don't have to pay any extra. :rolleyes:


    Seriously?
     
  23. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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    #23
    I don't know where you get that from. Why are American cars less reliable than most foreign cars?

    Your refurb Macs were made in China, they are not produced here. Refurbs are products that were either defective, discontinued or returned by consumers. Apple cleans them up and resells them.
     
  24. MasterNile macrumors 65816

    MasterNile

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    #24
    Yes I realize that, I'm not saying refurbs are made in the US, i'm saying refurbs are repaired in the US and I've never had any problems with quality control, although I do see the flaw in the logic there because repairing a computer with a known problem is far different then checking every computer coming off the assembly line for flaws.
     
  25. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #25
    Sorry- you outsource jobs, there should be a penalty.
     

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