I want to first begin this letter by stating that I hold no business degree, and I am not a mathematician. I am also not a journalist, I’m just a guy with a reasonable grasp of the English language who has the occasional opinion and shares those opinions or ideas as best I can.
I have an idea I want to run by you.
I believe that Apple is in a unique position to be able to pull this suggestion off, if any company would be able to. The reasons I believe this is that you have a customer base that is wiling to pay more than other consumers for a higher quality product. Also, your customer base is extremely loyal and many of us are very patriotic.
That being said, I’ll get right to my suggestion.
I own an iPhone 4S and it is a beautiful device and I like it very much. I looked at the back of the device and it says “Designed by Apple in California. Assembled in China.”
I understand that a corporation needs to keep costs low wherever possible, and I also note that the quality of the device doesn’t seem to have suffered during the manufacturing process. I’m not writing this to bash China or to bash your decision to have China be a participant in the creation of these devices.
I also understand that our country’s economy has been suffering for years, and that manufacturing jobs have suffered tremendously to the point where it seems that very few things are created in America.
While you as a corporation do not bear sole responsibility for fixing this problem, there is something you can do to assist should you choose to.
If you were to put out two versions of one of your next devices (or hopefully all of your future devices); one that is manufactured the same way that you have been doing things (designed in California, assembled in China) and another version that is designed, manufactured and assembled 100% in America, I believe you could help the American economy considerably.
Obviously you would need to charge more for the 100% American version. But, as I mentioned before, your customer base is willing to pay more to simply buy your products versus some of the other products on the market. I believe that enough of your customers will choose to buy this version that you wouldn’t be “sitting on” a bunch of them and losing money. In the beginning you would most likely have to do a smaller, limited run, and then, as you’re able to gauge the devices’ reception in the marketplace, you would hopefully be able to ramp up production of the American devices to where they equal or maybe (one can dream) become greater than the devices assembled elsewhere in production numbers.
You could even have some with an American flag or Eagle or some other patriotic color choice as sort of a “Limited Edition” collectable version.
I know that I personally would want to own one. You could do this with other products as well (iPad, iPod, etc.) especially if it becomes a successful endeavor.
I feel that you may be open to this for another reason as well, you have done something similar already with your Mac Pro computer that is made with 100% domestically manufactured components and assembly. The Mac Pro is obviously a higher-end device than the ones I mention in this idea, with my idea you can carry forward that same vision while appealing to an even broader group of consumers.
Thank you for taking the time to read this, I look forward to one day making this idea a reality.