The answer to that question is not quite as clear as you might think. While Apple Park, Headquarters for the company now worth an estimated 1 trillion dollars, is located in Cupertino, CA. – they most certainly are not set up to produce a 100% U.S. smart device, at least not yet.
Apple is one of the most valuable companies to date, with 2/3 of it’s total estimated revenue coming from the iPhone. But what goes into producing that phone, it’s a bit more involved then you may think.
Jabil Circuit, a company that supplies phone cases for the iPhone, and a list of electronic devices for different companies, reportedly relies on Apple for 20% of their total business.
Micron Technology, based in the U.S., Taiwan, China, Japan and Singapore supplies the memory modules for Apple devices including the iPhone. Currently, MU is testing their LPDDR4, a module expected to perform 60% faster than their LPDDR3 used in previous versions of the iPhone 6.
Murata Manufacturing, another overseas company with facilities in Vietnam, Japan, China, Singapore, and Indonesia serves Apple and Samsung. Their ceramic capacitors control to flow of electricity throughout smart devices. Providing for two of the biggest cell phone manufacturers in the industry accounts for nearly 40% of their total sales.
Japan Based Nidec, holds the rights to the taptic feedback engine used in the Apple Watch. They’re also the Global market leader in smartphone vibration motors.
Qualcomm, a world leader in semi conductor products supplies a list of components used in Apple products. From Processors, to power management modules and mobile signaling systems., Qualcomm is a publicly traded company, listed on the NASDAQ, and located in San Diego, CA.
Samsung and it’s three separate subsidiaries: Samsung SDI, Samsung Electro-Mechanics Co., and Samsung SDI; are located in four countries including South Korea, U.S., China, and the Philippines. Like other business shipping their technology worldwide, they two are major suppliers of Apple.
The name brand smartphones are more similar than you may think. In fact, in many ways, they’re exactly the same. Obviously there are key differences in design elements, functionality, materials, and Operating systems, but their guts are largely indifferent.
What does this mean for the end consumer? And furthermore, with the newly imposed trade-ban on China, what would it take for Apple to design a smart product entirely in house?
As a consumer, you do not have much control over how or where your smart device comes from. And thankfully, that does not effect you directly in any real way. Consumers readily line up at release events, ready and eager to throw down thousands of dollars towards their device of choice.
Apple could (in theory anyway), produce a smartphone entirely in-house. But it would require a complete design and development overhall. The devices made available to the public would likely suffer a a few drastic changes, and could even suffer in the way of performance and safety.
And there’s no telling how much a 100% U.S. produced cell phone would cost. One of the key benefits to sourcing parts from overseas is the ability to keep the price down on the final product. Without that edge, iPhone retail numbers could easily reach absurd levels. 1-2 year payment plans available from AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint could turn into 10 year contracts to keep that monthly bill within reason.