Heinz Gruber:
This is a stupid column. Apple scales up production all the time. This is why they make the upfront investment to buy and then lease production machines to manufacturers as necessary.
12:15 am — Tuesday, 18 July 2017
Magic? While I agree with Gruber that people don't get the sheer amount of all components required to produce 200 million iPhones within 1 year, I don't agree it is a risky act. A proper planning several years ahead to produce 50-60% components is already in place, how stupid Apple could be if they acquire all the components at the same time just before launch.
1:39 am — Tuesday, 18 July 2017
It's this mastery of the supply chain that enabled Apple to be the size it is. It's all bloody upside, for chrissakes. People who don't work in hardware tech have no idea how long things take to go from prototype to production. It's orders of magnitude slower than fucking software, which is how this idiots think (pretty much all tech journos come from a software, publishing, or finance background, but they've never designed a piece of hardware in their life, let alone pushed it through to production).
3:21 am — Tuesday, 18 July 2017
Gruber the Booger:

While I don't completely disagree, Apple mainly uses off-the-shelf parts.

Except for Apples home-grown chips (the best) and cases (debatable the best), almost every other part they use is ramped up and already in full production and in use with other devices already.

Apple just makes it all work together a little better mostly, with software. Like their camera software for example. Same camera part, better results.

Need more RAM? Talk to Hynix or Samsung or whoever.

Need more screens? Talk to Samsung or someone in Japan or whoever.

Software... that takes time to churn. Looking at you Samsung.

Not to pick on Samsung but look at how fast they churn out new hardware. Their software has gotten a little better but...

Samsung obviously stubbed their toe royally hard on the Note 7 hardware. But their software is bloaty and shitty.

However I did like the dual app, split screen method they came up with. Which has trickled down to iOS and other Android sets.

And Sammy made pens/pencils/stylus a thing again, so there is that.

But yeah, it's a balancing act with hardware and software.

@knowitall can make some cogent points here, I am certain.
5:11 am — Tuesday, 18 July 2017
Gruber setting expectations to Low.
5:42 am — Tuesday, 18 July 2017
@Gruber the Booger

> While I don't completely disagree, Apple mainly uses off-the-shelf parts.

They do but not in the way they are truly off-the-shelf. For instance the current iPhones do not use displays identical to ones already used by other phones. Apple sends out RFPs and orders them to custom specs from multiple suppliers and the suppliers have to set up their manufacturing lines to meet Apple's demand.

The process takes time and effort. The suppliers cannot just push out things readily available from the shelf. Apple is far from the only one doing it but the scale of operation for iPhones is so large that the lead time and the level of partnership required are so much more important to make sure everything goes smoothly, and last minute changes are deadly.

As aside, this is where Asian suppliers shine. They have a lot of engineers in their manufacturing facilities who will work day and night to sort out inevitable roadblocks in production. I heard engineers joke about how their companies are "willing to throw as many bodies at the problems as needed" to meet the deadlines and make the big clients happy.
6:06 am — Tuesday, 18 July 2017
Bob Sinclair:
Another result of diseconomies of scale is that smaller vendors, or major vendors that want to push out a small number of units, can almost always beat Apple to market with some new technology because their lead time is much shorter, like with Samsung coming out with a new, barely working tech for a single, small market so they can say "me first."
6:54 am — Tuesday, 18 July 2017
The other clever thing about apple is they were one of the first to have their own stores and online retail. So they know more about the demand for their products than companies who have to sell to stores and third parties to sell on.

I think that's why Cook has had the ability to pretty much accurately know exactly how many units they are going to sell of any product and how much they need to order. And he has the information daily if he wants it, not 6 months after the initial delivery to the store. He has the whole supply chain on complete lock.

When you look at it, the apple store is the true gem of the whole business. I don't think there is another manufacturer on earth that has a direct link to their customer the way apple have. Not even Amazon.
9:45 am — Tuesday, 18 July 2017
Apple should get into the grocery business..
11:17 am — Tuesday, 18 July 2017
@ano, it's not a bad idea, and I personally think Apple will succeed with any business they want to do. But right now, I prefer them to focus on their core products, which are Mac and iDevices.
11:38 pm — Tuesday, 18 July 2017
Leave a Comment
To leave a comment, install the Safari extension!