This is a terrific article on several levels. It examines some of the inside story of the development of the iPhone. It points out fundamental demographic advantages that China has over the U.S. And it gets into the potential moral delimma Apple, and other successful US technology companies, has when balancing profitability, share owner value, and the needs of the American worker.
Though Americans are among the most educated workers in the world, the nation has stopped training enough people in the mid-level skills that factories need, executives say.
Another critical advantage for Apple was that China provided engineers at a scale the United States could not match. Apple’s executives had estimated that about 8,700 industrial engineers were needed to oversee and guide the 200,000 assembly-line workers eventually involved in manufacturing iPhones. The company’s analysts had forecast it would take as long as nine months to find that many qualified engineers in the United States.
In China, it took 15 days.