Jeffrey Brian Straubel, ex-CTO and founder of Tesla, just interviewed for the podcast This Week in Startups hosted by Jason Calacanis. This included battery recycling and waste management, two crucial topics for most car manufacturers today. But it was towards the end of the show that the anecdote that interests us was brought up.
So when Calacanis asks his guest if iPhones could be made in the United States, his response is yes: “absoutely“. For the developer, the problem would not come from Apple directly but rather from the government itself. This would not have instilled the aid and ambitions necessary for the development of subcontractors in the region, leaving China free rein to occupy the first place of the industrial podium at the world level.
To watch the full exchange, do not hesitate to launch the video below (in English only, without French subtitles):
The costs, of course
What Straubel seems to forget, on the other hand, is that labor is in fact much more expensive at Uncle Sam. Thus, if despite some bonuses wages at Foxconn rarely exceed four hundred euros per month. , the United States prohibits companies from paying their employees less than a thousand euros per month (approximately). So just for the assembly line, Apple potentially earns 50% on its expenses. The exact price of his invoice remains obviously unknown, but it would not be surprising to see Hon Hai benefit from significant margins as is customary with his main client.
There is also the expertise: while there is no doubt that the brains are available in America, Chinese logistics are often more efficient and each supplier’s premises are geographically closer. Difficult, with such disparities, to bet on a country which on the contrary, it has blocked its rival’s imports since the last century.
How much does an iPhone cost?
According to TechInsights, an iPhone 13 Pro would cost Apple 570 euros. This figure takes into account not only the price of each component separately, but also that of the workers who are responsible for connecting them to give the result that we know.
Sold for 1,159 euros in France, these mobiles therefore bring – in theory – nearly 600 euros in Cupertino. Hence its record profits, which still rank it to this day as one of the most profitable companies on the planet. With, we recall, the highest market capitalization.