Tesla co-founder and former chief technical officer JB Straubel discuss why Apple isn’t producing iPhones in the US despite the fact that it “certainly” could in a new interview addressing e-waste, battery recycling, and other topics.
Jason Calacanis, the presenter of the “This Week in Startups” podcast, recently interviewed JB Straubel about a variety of issues, including e-waste, battery recycling, and Tesla’s early days. Near the conclusion, Calacanis asked Straubel if Apple might manufacture iPhones in the United States.
“Could iPhones be manufactured here?” Simply said, when you guys produced automobiles here, people said, ‘that’s impossible,’ and you accomplished it. Could iPhones and, say, smartphones be made here, and it would it cost an extra hundred dollars or some such?”
Straubel stated that he believes Apple and others could “definitely manufacture difficult things” in the US, but he also provided other ideas, including the US’s strategic mistakes over the previous decades, which have resulted in China assuming the lead in manufacturing. Part of the reason for this, according to Straubel, is that the United States “didn’t attempt.”
“You know, I believe we can certainly develop difficult things in the United States.” I believe part of the problem was that we didn’t try. And in certain situations, we made strategic judgments that it wasn’t a heads-up competition. You know, there’s obviously talent here, clever people, and I’d say there’s a lot of invention and creativity, particularly around automation and factory software and how to enhance things in short cycles.
I’m not suggesting this is simple competition. I mean, China is extremely entrepreneurial, and they work incredibly hard. You know, I believe people can’t take it for granted, and you can’t comprehend how hard and how much work they put into this, in succeeding, until you’ve been there and gone there.
But we can compete, without a doubt. I’m not going to throw in the towel and say, “Well, we’re too successful or lazy or anything.” If that were the case, I’d relocate to another nation.” Watch out for the iPhone part that’s currently lined up below:
While Apple has taken significant steps in recent years to transfer production away from China, the company remains highly reliant on vendors and employees in the Asia-Pacific area. Tim Cook previously stated in 2015, when questioned about the usage of Chinese labour and the difficulties that come with it:
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