Nobody has ANY IDEA who makes the circuit boards for the Macs? I've learned that three companies make circuitboards for practically everyone, for everything from cell phones and pda's to computers. The companies are Flextronics, Solectron and Sanmina. Does Apple contract out their circuit boards to one of these companies, or another company, or do they have their own in-house factory for this? I'll bet the job is contracted out, and I want to know who gets the contract.
Did you know that 3 chipmakers, Sanmina, Flextronics and Selectron, make practically all the circuit boards, from teensy cell phone ones to big workstation ones, for all the computer "manufacturers?" And that manufacturers, in the trade, are now referred to as "OEM's" or "original equipment makers." In other words, they figured out how to actually make the thing, then they subcontracted out a lot of the parts.
If you have a hunch that Apple sales are going to take off soon because of OS X, but you want to hedge your bets by basing a small investment on a broader base of the market, finding out who makes the required components and investing there is one way to do it.
The drawback is, however, that production increases at the circuit company will be affecting only one of its clients (apple) and the sales jump will be diluted among the fate of its other accounts. Eventually, however, more PC's will be made and sold, and the computer market will recover.
A direct investment in Apple would be undiluted, and hopefully highly profitable over the short term, but would concentrate all the risks in Apple's risk basket. If Apple doesn't take over the market right away (an unfortunate but likely prospect), other PC makers will hold onto their market share. Boring but potentially profitable.
If I ever want to get out of the hole in this insane economy, I've got to think of myself as less of a consumer and as more of a participant in the production side.
Pleze tell me you're not looking for a fast buck in stocks.
The current economic screwup is a direct result of TOO MANY DAY TRADERS!!!!!
The stock market was designed for INVESTMENT not freakin high stakes baccarat. There are too many folks who DO invest for the long haul to day trade in good conscience, knowing that the cumulative actions of massive day trading and sizeable rumor manipulation can detrimentally effect thousands of lives. Think on that when you consider buying a new Bmer with your sellout cash.
There's some good info at circuitree.com. Here's a link to a story that shows the top few PCB manus in China & Taiwan, their output, and predicted output for 2001. It's an old story, but the names are there. It doesn't say that they make them for Apple, however.. A little creative journalism is all it should take..
Greetings, Mischief, itomato, and the rest of you hardware-heads:
The more I hear about Motorola's partnership with Apple, the better I like Motorola. It seems to be a good company. From what I have learned about OEM's lately, however, I wouldn't be surprised if Motorola is another OEM which contracts out actual PCB manufacturing.
itomato's link to CircuitTree, the zine for the PCB industry, was a big help. That's the kind of information I hoped to find through this discussion board.
P.S., I've always owned Very Old Japanese station wagons and pickup trucks. I've no use for the BMW gang.