1. conite's Avatar
    Trump's policies benefited largely Vietnam...
    I personally think that a world where manufacturing activities are more geographically balanced in simply better, more sustainable. So, I welcome anything manufactured in the US that is commercially viable.

    Just reminding the best piece of hardware delivered by BlackBerry...the Passport, made in Mexico... or just assembled?
    Good times
    Wistron assembled the Passport in Mexico mostly, but parts are normally sourced from Asia.
    02-22-21 05:12 PM
  2. whatnow00's Avatar
    Let's say you have your eye on a new 75" TV, with a retail price of $2000. Is $2000 what it costs the manufacturer to make the TV? Of course not.

    The manufacturer probably builds the TV for $800 total cost. They then sell 50,000 of these TVs to a major distributor for $1200 each. The distributor then sells them to retailers for $1600, and the retailer sells them to actual end-user customers for $2000.

    What happens when the cost of a major component goes up, due to a material shortage or tariffs or whatever? Let's say the manufacturer now has to pay $900 instead of $800 to make this TV. The price to the distributor likely becomes $1400, and the retailer's price likely becomes $1900, and the customer's price becomes $2400. Why? Because there's a pretty standard ratio of profit levels for each level of the food chain, as they all need to make money in order to do their part. But this $100 increase at the manufacturer then becomes a $400 increase by the time it gets to the customer. Having worked in this various business for 20+ years, and having contacts in the business at major companies, I can say confidently that most products work like this, from a $100 microwave at Walmart (that costs $18 to manufacture), to an $80,000 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 (that costs $45,000 to make). Any small increase in cost to the manufacturer is magnified 3-10 times by the time you get to retail, because it causes increases at every level of the sales chain.

    And that's why taking a phone from $6 in labor costs to $500 in labor cost (this is JUST labor - no change in parts cost) for the manufacturer would move a phone from $800 (made in China) to $2000 (made in the US). This crazy "labor" increase isn't just the cost of people's actual labor - it's also costs to lease a building (with a large parking lot), ship components, provide benefits, far higher insurance costs, licensing costs, environmental costs, taxes, and on and on. All of that has to be paid for, and when you're making a very small number of phones, you have to spread those large costs across just a few phones, and that means the cost per phone is very large. In China, they'd be made in an existing factory with existing workers who work on other phones, so relatively little infrastructure, licensing, or other costs need to be covered. In the US, this would all have to be created from scratch just for this project.
    I appreciate the lecture, Professor, but Motorola made phones in America in 2014 that didn't cost $2000.
    Paulelmar18 and elfabio80 like this.
    02-22-21 10:03 PM
  3. conite's Avatar
    I appreciate the lecture, Professor, but Motorola made phones in America in 2014 that didn't cost $2000.
    The Moto X launched in 2013 for $580.

    The Korean-made Nexus 5 was a FAR better phone for $50 less, and the Samsung S4 mini was $90 less.

    But I also think that mass production and automation has progressed exponentially over there since that time.
    Last edited by conite; 02-23-21 at 11:09 AM.
    02-22-21 10:21 PM
  4. Troy Tiscareno's Avatar
    I appreciate the lecture, Professor, but Motorola made phones in America in 2014 that didn't cost $2000.
    Those were phones ASSEMBLED in the US from foreign-made parts. Moto provided the design, but manufacturing of all major components was done in Asia. And the Motorola of that era was a big company with volume sales (10s of millions of units per year) and lots of resources, not a startup hoping to sell 50,000 phones. There's just a BIT of difference.
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    02-22-21 11:32 PM
  5. whatnow00's Avatar
    Those were phones ASSEMBLED in the US from foreign-made parts. Moto provided the design, but manufacturing of all major components was done in Asia. And the Motorola of that era was a big company with volume sales (10s of millions of units per year) and lots of resources, not a startup hoping to sell 50,000 phones. There's just a BIT of difference.
    Yes, Professor, I understand that. Nobody has been arguing that every component of a USA-made phone would also be made here.
    02-23-21 10:49 AM
  6. Chuck Finley69's Avatar
    Yes, Professor, I understand that. Nobody has been arguing that every component of a USA-made phone would also be made here.
    Quite a change from yelling “guard” !!!!!!
    02-23-21 11:55 AM
  7. conite's Avatar
    Quite a change from yelling “guard” !!!!!!
    "old-guard" : those who generally advocate the use of newer, actively developed and supported products.

    Who woulda thunk it?

    Just an aside.
    pdr733 likes this.
    02-23-21 12:13 PM
  8. Chuck Finley69's Avatar
    "old-guard" : those who generally advocate the use of newer, actively developed and supported products.

    Who woulda thunk it?

    Just an aside.
    Agreed
    02-23-21 12:34 PM
  9. app_Developer's Avatar
    Yes, Professor, I understand that. Nobody has been arguing that every component of a USA-made phone would also be made here.
    But if the local job was just to assemble the pre-made pieces and box the device, that's not necessarily going to be the highest paid, highest value part of the chain. And it's not going to make any difference to whether the device is secure. So I don't understand the point of it. Final assembly (relatively low value work) is just probably going to be well below the compensation expectations of Americans.

    The expensive pieces are the boards and the glass (and maybe the keyboard in this particular case). That's where the skilled, higher paying jobs are.
    02-23-21 12:47 PM
  10. Chuck Finley69's Avatar
    I appreciate the lecture, Professor, but Motorola made phones in America in 2014 that didn't cost $2000.

    But if the local job was just to assemble the pre-made pieces and box the device, that's not necessarily going to be the highest paid, highest value part of the chain. And it's not going to make any difference to whether the device is secure. So I don't understand the point of it. Final assembly (relatively low value work) is just probably going to be well below the compensation expectations of Americans.

    The expensive pieces are the boards and the glass (and maybe the keyboard in this particular case). That's where the skilled, higher paying jobs are.
    Illustrating your point was that when announcing the jobs, that low wages suspected and confirmed within linked article.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/business...ch-pay/278270/
    02-23-21 01:52 PM
  11. Troy Tiscareno's Avatar
    Yes, Professor, I understand that. Nobody has been arguing that every component of a USA-made phone would also be made here.
    We're trying to explain why making a phone in the US (including components) would be incredibly expensive if not impossible, and why even assembling it in the US from foreign parts would be very expensive, in particular from a low-volume manufacturer who would have to stand up an assembly plant and hire and train workers for what would be a small number of phones relative to the cost. A few folks have made it seem like this is unreasonable, but there are very real reasons why this is true.

    In any case, OM has since clarified that this first phone (at least) won't be made/assembled in the US, so the point is moot. If an OM phone actually gets made, it's going to be made by Foxconn, likely in an Asian factory, and from Asian components, just like virtually every other smartphone on the planet.
    phuoc likes this.
    02-23-21 02:39 PM
  12. whatnow00's Avatar
    But if the local job was just to assemble the pre-made pieces and box the device, that's not necessarily going to be the highest paid, highest value part of the chain. And it's not going to make any difference to whether the device is secure. So I don't understand the point of it. Final assembly (relatively low value work) is just probably going to be well below the compensation expectations of Americans.

    The expensive pieces are the boards and the glass (and maybe the keyboard in this particular case). That's where the skilled, higher paying jobs are.
    I don't understand what people don't understand. He said "long-term goal". It is a long term goal to assemble in the USA with some American-made components. (Corning Gorilla Glass is already made in America.)

    Nobody is saying the 2021 BlackBerry will be made in America.

    We're trying to explain why making a phone in the US (including components) would be incredibly expensive if not impossible, and why even assembling it in the US from foreign parts would be very expensive, in particular from a low-volume manufacturer who would have to stand up an assembly plant and hire and train workers for what would be a small number of phones relative to the cost. A few folks have made it seem like this is unreasonable, but there are very real reasons why this is true.

    In any case, OM has since clarified that this first phone (at least) won't be made/assembled in the US, so the point is moot. If an OM phone actually gets made, it's going to be made by Foxconn, likely in an Asian factory, and from Asian components, just like virtually every other smartphone on the planet.
    Professor, again, nobody said the first phone would be made here. It's a long term goal. It wouldn't be a low volume manufacturer because it's literally Foxconn. If they're serious about manufacturing in the USA, they would bring other production lines here, not just the OM device.
    Paulelmar18 likes this.
    02-23-21 03:23 PM
  13. conite's Avatar
    It wouldn't be a low volume manufacturer because it's literally Foxconn. If they're serious about manufacturing in the USA, they would bring other production lines here, not just the OM device.
    It would be a very low volume product run to tool-up for though - using a lot of unique parts. Whether Foxconn, TCL, or Wistron, it will be expensive to make.
    02-23-21 03:29 PM
  14. whatnow00's Avatar
    It would be a very low volume product run to tool-up for though - using a lot of unique parts. Whether Foxconn, TCL, or Wistron, it will be expensive to make.
    Again, we're not talking about the first device. And it will be expensive to make in Asia too.
    Paulelmar18 likes this.
    02-23-21 03:58 PM
  15. joeldf's Avatar
    Again, we're not talking about the first device. And it will be expensive to make in Asia too.
    So what are you talking about? I thought you were the one questioning why a North American made device would be so much more expensive than the same device made in one of the Asian factories.
    02-23-21 04:10 PM
  16. app_Developer's Avatar
    I don't understand what people don't understand. He said "long-term goal". It is a long term goal to assemble in the USA with some American-made components. (Corning Gorilla Glass is already made in America.)

    Nobody is saying the 2021 BlackBerry will be made in America.


    .
    No, I understand. I'm saying it's likely to never make sense.

    BTW, by "glass", I didn't mean literally the glass, I mean the entire assembly (touchscreen, substrate, the screen). I'm not aware of any manufacturers for that sandwich outside of S.Korea, Taiwan, and China. Again, not because of cost, but because that capability only exists AFAIK in those 3 countries. That's a high value component in any phone.
    02-23-21 04:59 PM
  17. conite's Avatar
    Again, we're not talking about the first device. And it will be expensive to make in Asia too.
    I know. But I'm just jumping around following your different points.
    BBuso77 likes this.
    02-23-21 05:39 PM
  18. whatnow00's Avatar
    So what are you talking about? I thought you were the one questioning why a North American made device would be so much more expensive than the same device made in one of the Asian factories.
    I'm saying a long-term project backed by Foxconn to move some manufacturing back to America over the course of several years is not going to result in a $2000 phone like the Professor insists.
    02-23-21 07:06 PM
  19. Chuck Finley69's Avatar
    I'm saying a long-term project backed by Foxconn to move some manufacturing back to America over the course of several years is not going to result in a $2000 phone like the Professor insists.
    I’d lay odds that it would be closer in that direction based on current industry pricing especially when looking at Sonim for example. The manufacturing logistics in the USA is exponentially a cost plus issue. How was that former Nokia, former Motorola plant fairing in pre-COVID 19 times?
    02-23-21 07:18 PM
  20. app_Developer's Avatar
    I'm saying a long-term project backed by Foxconn to move some manufacturing back to America over the course of several years is not going to result in a $2000 phone like the Professor insists.
    It depends on what you mean by "manufacturing", and it depends even more so on what volume you are assuming.

    It could be $50k a phone, if the volume is low enough. It could be $500 if you assume that the workforce already exists and the scale is extremely high. Most of the costs will be fixed.
    02-23-21 08:09 PM
  21. idssteve's Avatar
    Where is Apple's M1 chip made? How did Silver Sparrow get in? How difficult would it be for a bad actor to infect chips regardless of where they're made? ??
    02-23-21 09:43 PM
  22. howarmat's Avatar
    TSMC makes the M1 I think. A Taiwan company.
    02-23-21 10:12 PM
  23. whatnow00's Avatar
    https://www.cnet.com/news/biden-to-o...cal-resources/

    Even Uncle Joe's administration is wising up to the problem of no domestic manufacturing.
    02-24-21 02:45 PM
  24. conite's Avatar
    https://www.cnet.com/news/biden-to-o...cal-resources/

    Even Uncle Joe's administration is wising up to the problem of no domestic manufacturing.
    Sure. But even if there was a will to do it starting tomorrow, it would take 10 years and many billions (trillions?) of dollars to ramp up infrastructure to anything near capable of doing what they're doing overseas.

    And regardless of the level of automation, when labour is 10 times the amount, it is virtually impossible to be even remotely competitive.

    This is essentially why the West has focussed on the knowledge economy instead of the production economy. But even that is being usurped by higher education in the developing countries.

    Quite honestly, I think we're doomed to decline as we continue to double down on demanding our entitlements. It's also great to be caring and "fair', but it will inevitably cut us off at the knees.
    02-24-21 02:47 PM
  25. whatnow00's Avatar
    Sure. But even if there was a will to do it starting tomorrow, it would take 10 years and many billions (trillions?) of dollars to ramp up infrastructure to anything near capable of doing what they're doing overseas.

    And regardless of the level of automation, when labour is 10 times the amount, it is virtually impossible to be even remotely competitive.

    This is essentially why the West has focussed on the knowledge economy instead of the production economy.
    And it's why the West has been losing to China for 20 years. While an emasculated Europe and feckless Canada might be okay with that, the USA isn't.
    02-24-21 02:55 PM
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