China, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia are the main countries that bear those characteristics and participate in the manufacture of iPhone. While several asian countries assemble the iPhone, the phone is mostly assembled in China.is one of the most well-known and popular tech brands in the world: the logo is instantly recognizable even without the company’s name to accompany it.
The iPhone is even more so – it’s not difficult to tell an Apple iPhone apart from any other phone, thanks to its minimalist design that has not changed much through the years. Though innovative in its own way, the iPhone has always stuck to its original foundation.
While most of us have heard of the brand and know an iPhone when we see one, how much do we really know about where the iPhone’s hardware comes from? We don’t really ask ourselves that; after all, every box an iPhone comes in states “Designed by Apple in California”. But where are iPhones manufactured and how are iPhones made? You can get an iPhone case made in the USA easily but what about the phone itself?
pple CEO Tim Cook has never shied away from making it clear that the iPhone’s components are mostly produced in the United States.
He has stated numerous times that people often associate the place where the device was assembled with the country of origin of all components.
However, how and where are iPhones made?
The company uses specialized manufacturers for individual parts: camera specialists are in charge of the lens while screen specialists focus on the display, and the list goes on for most components.
In an MSNBC interview from 2018, Cook stated that “We are building things in the United States and it’s not true that the iPhone isn’t built in the United States… There are components of the iPhone built in the United States. The glass is from Kentucky. Many chips, silicon chips, are made from all over the United States.”
Cook also stated in another interview that there is still ‘confusion about China’: “The popular conception is that companies come to China because of low labor costs. I’m not sure what part of China they go to, but the truth is China stopped being a low-labor-cost country many years ago. And that is not the reason to come to China from a supply point of view. The reason is because of the skill, and the quantity of skill in one location and the type of skill it is.”
However, while China might offer the skill quantity Apple is after, the iPhone hosts too many components to mention (there are around 178 of them if you were curious), all of them manufactured in a different country.
And when it comes to quality, the most reliable place where iPhones are made is still China, as revealed by this news.
ACCESSORIES FOR IPHONE MADE IN INDIA, STILL A CHALLENGE FOR APPLE
A February 15th, 2023 report on Apple’s supply chain reveals another country where accesories for iPhones are made: India.
While we did know Apple makes some iPhone components in India among other places, the Financial Times reports the company has major quality control issues there as compared to China.
The situation is apparently so dire, iPhone casings made in India have a 50% rejection rate, so one in two iPhone components cannot be used in the final product.
“At an iPhone casings factory in Hosur run by Indian conglomerate Tata, one of Apple’s suppliers, just about one out of every two components coming off the production line is in good enough shape to eventually be sent to Foxconn, Apple’s assembly partner for building iPhones, according to a person familiar with the matter. This 50 per cent ‘yield’ fares badly compared with Apple’s goal for zero defects. Two people that have worked in Apple’s offshore operations said the factory is on a plan towards improving proficiency but the road ahead is long,” said the report.
Considering Apple has embarked on a long journey to reduce its dependency on China for making iPhones, these issue show just how complex the manufacturing chain really is.
The accelerometer is made by German-based Bosch Sensortech and the gyroscope by STMicroelectronics, both of which have locations spanning the globe, from the U.S to China, the United Arab Emirates and South Africa.
The glass screen is manufactured by Corning, which is based in the U.S but also operates in countries like Australia, Denmark, India, Japan, Turkey and the Philippines.
The touch-screen controller and the Wi-Fi chip are manufactured by Broadcom and Murata, respectively, both of them U.S-based but with other locations such as Japan, Brazil, Thailand, The Netherlands, Finland and Singapore.
Then we have the battery, which is supplied by Samsung but also by Sunwoda Electric, which has headquarters in China.
At the heart of the iPhone, we will find the A-series processor from TSMC. It is based in Taiwan but has other locations in China, Singapore and the U.S.
THE IPHONE ASSEMBLY LINE
As you can already tell from the list above, the answer to the question “where are the iPhones manufactured” is not simple at all. The text you’ll see on the device states that it was “Assembled in China”, with ‘assembled’ being the key word here: it was not fabricated in the country.
So, the short answer to the question of manufacturing is simply: pretty much everywhere.
However, while the components might come from sources all over the globe, all of them are sent to only two other companies, responsible for assembling them: Foxconn and Pegatron, both based in Taiwan.
Foxconn has worked with Apple for years and its largest factory is located in Zhengzhou, China, but the company also has other locations which include, but are not limited to South Korea, the Philippines and the Czech Republic.