With the upcoming release of the Jobs biopic Apple is set to be in the spotlight in coming weeks. It's timely then that the Finances Online website has released an interesting report tracing the iPhone’s supply chain.
It makes for fascinating reading. The rare earth minerals used in many of the phone’s components are 90 percent sourced in China and Inner Mongolia. Move up to the component level and the LCD panels, chipset, memory and batteries are all made in Korea. The iPhone 5's innovative display -- which eliminates a layer of glass -- is made by LG for example. The gyroscope that works out which way you’re holding the phone comes from STMicroelectronics, a French/Italian company.
You probably already knew that most iPhones are assembled in China (85 percent) by Foxconn among others. The reason for this is that China can respond much faster when it comes to hiring engineers and setting up new production lines to bring products to market fast.
In terms of jobs, Apple employs some 43,000 people in the US with a further 20,000 US employees based abroad. That pales into insignificance though against the 700,000 jobs involved in making Apple products around the world.
Does it matter where technology products are made? Would you be more likely to buy a smartphone that was manufactured locally? Let us know in the comments.