Why Apple assembles iPhones in China (not what you’re thinking)

For some years, Apple has been producing its iPhones in China. This is a widespread trend that is often interpreted as a search for cheap labor. The company’s CEO, Tim Cook, vehemently rejects this theory. And explains why:

“The main reason we like to be in China is the people there. China has extraordinary skills. Few know that nearly 2 million Chinese app developers subscribe to apps on the iOS App Store. The most innovative apps of the world and most inspiring in the world are created in China”, he says.

He continues: “China has become a very advanced manufacturing post. You find there workers with craftsmanship as well as sophisticated robotics. This crossover, very rare to find anywhere, this kind of skill, is very important. to our business because of the precision and quality level we like.”

The speech was given during a talk at the Fortune Global Forum in Guangzhou in early December. Cook also talked about the cost of labor in China. “I don’t know why companies move to China, but the fact is that China is no longer the low cost of labor as it was many years ago,” he says.

What he says is based on studies. According to a Euromonitor survey, China’s industrial sector average wage has risen above all Latin American countries except Chile, with an hourly wage of $3.60.

“It doesn’t matter to us just the product, but the way it is made. We want to make handsets in the hundreds of millions range, and we want a quality level with zero defects. So it would make sense to risk our entire reputation in a market.” just because it’s cheaper. It wouldn’t make sense”, Cook concludes.