I have mixed feelings about the move of manufacturing to India. Whilst I would like Indians to be economically successful I can't ignore the ecological disaster that is happening in their country. It is absolutely terrifying. The air in Mumbai was unbreathable when I visited and it wasn't even ranking remotely near the top in the most polluted city air in India at the time (Delhi's was 3x as bad). Adding to this the much publicised water shortages, growing population putting strain on the already way over-burdened infrastructure, accelerating pace of urban development and a healthy democratic culture which doesn't instil confidence of them being able to quickly rectify these problems once Chinese style growth has been achieved I can only predict a disaster of biblical proportions for India in the not too distant future. I hope I'm wrong but I fear I'm not.
One easy way to bring these people out of poverty is to provide them with good economic opportunities (like factory jobs!). High-tech factories would demand cleaner, more stable power (natural gas, nuclear instead of coal, wood, cow dung).
2) India's totally overpopulated, agreed. One way to decrease the population growth is to bring these people out of poverty. Every developed country has seen their birth rate decline once they move to the middle class. These guys need jobs, college, etc, and people will start having less kids!
This is super accurate.
Fyi - new Delhi has the most stringent vehicular regulations in India. All commercial vehicles in Delhi run on natural gas - both petrol and diesel are banned.
India's pollution levels are not industrial or vehicular - they are agriculture waste burning. And they are timed with agricultural harvesting cycles.
We have super fragmented farmlands who are really poor and this causes bad practices of disposal .
We are a service based economy - but to be able to bring the bottom of the pyramid out of poverty, we need to accelerate manufacturing and bring modernisation into agriculture. Not to mention education.
Is that really true? Delhi has banned "registration" of such vehicles sure, but vehicles from nearby states (Haryana, Punjab, UP) and others are aplenty on the roads and allowed to fill petrol or diesel. Yes the ban has led to significant impact just pointing out that significant sources of air pollution remain.
Agreed, this echoes Rosling's points in videos and in Factfulness about how societies actually progress.
India will have a special challenge from mosquitoes and diseases like dengue and malaria, but maybe the best approach to malaria will be turning mosquito-borne diseases into diseases of the rich. We probably can't fully appreciate the solutions a wealthy India (or wealthy Nigeria) would develop, applying new resources, the latest science, and metis to deal with the world's deadliest animal.
The three reasons you mentioned are indeed the prevalent reasons but mostly in rural part of india.
In cities like Delhi and Mumbai, none of these is major reason. Pollution from vehicles (especially diesel vehicles), crop waste burning (esp in areas around Delhi) and industrial pollution are the major reasons. These cities are too densed and yet too big.
The sad thing is that there are hundreds of laws to prevent pollution but law enforcement is not a thing in India.
I remember reading a study that said this was not caused by poverty, at least not alone. It's also cultural. There are poorer areas in the world where they don't "burn to clear fields, cook stove with wood and burn cow dung" and also open defecation. At least that's what the study said, and that people doing these weren't all particularly poor. It would require a huge cultural shift and change of habits. Something that is really hard to do unfortunately.
Yes, there's a saying that "if a couple has 10 kids in America and 1 dies, it's a tragedy. If a couple has 10 kids in India and 4 die, it's good odds." It's plausible to assume some couples might be hedging their bets however morbid that is. I'm an American that visited India for a few months and would like offer a different point of view. Buying condoms in India is still an embarrassing task since you have to stand within a line crammed full of people, look a shopkeeper in the eyes, and ask him or her to rummage around for whatever condom boxes he/she has in his/her rubbermaid containers. Lol, YC2020 could be condom vending machines in India that accept rupees >.>. Just about all of India's problems stem from the Tragedy of the Commons.
Every year that goes by where India doesn't raise its standard of living, results in millions of stunted childhoods and lives. India needs all the manufacturing growth it can get.
The equivalent to your comment would be Indians on this forum leaving gratuitious remarks about the West ruining the planet with its excessively polluting ways. Just because you cannot see it around you, doesn't mean its not happening.
It's not patronising at all. It's the reality. They got major shit to deal with. We all do but theirs is on another scale. Pretending they don't because of some misguided fear of being seen as patronising doesn't change it one bit. Like I said I hope they are successful as I hope we all are so we emerge from this existential threat together stronger and more wise but I fear for a place like India based on what I saw more than I do Europe or the US or even SE Asia.
I felt it was patronizing because the original article is about manufacturing progress in a country that has been notoriously behind the curve on manufacturing. Making iphones is not what one normally associates as a dirty or polluting industrial effort.
Instead of directly discussing the merit (or not) of this move by Apple, you chose to bring up an unrelated topic of general environmental problems in India.
Lets imagine the article was about Apple opening a new manufacturing facility in Texas. Would you have brought up other social/political/environmental challenges that Texas faces (oh i don't know, like racial equity, or floods)? My guess is that would be unlikely, since its kinda off-topic and would be clear you are trying to express some other gratuitous concern you may have about that region.
4. third link https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19630358. This one doesn't have much commentary, but here we see irrelevant comments which are not directly tied to the article, which are much in the vein of the original comment above.
Does that help clarify my position, and why comments of this nature are not helpful? Its totally fine to bring up environmental/social/political concerns, if they are relevant. They are not in this case.
I didn't. I said I have mixed feelings. Damned if they do damned if they don't. From what I have read there are some great initiatives to modernise farming methods with technology in order to reduce burning. They should pursue this aggressively. India has a lot of sun. They should pursue solar electricity aggressively. One other thing that struck me was how poorly Indian cities are designed. Not walkable at all. This is a huge mistake that should be acknowledged and worked on. I know its a pipe dream but I really think India could benefit from not embracing the choas so much.
I think to answer your question the best path forward is to continue as is with economic growth targets but also on a political level to be relentless in not accepting that what exists now is remotely good enough. Bring the problems up front and centre and never stop talking about them. Cuties inertia seemed to be particularly strong in India. That said India has some of the brightest minds in the world at the moment and has developed amazing capabilities so the problem isn't insurmountable if it is acknowledged and faced head on.
You're reading into something that isn't there. The best and most equitable way to improve quality of life is to ensure a clean environment. Pollution is a great leveler, especially air pollution, as rich and poor have to breathe it alike if they wish to go outside.
I'm afraid you are right but people in India don't seem to care. I go there every year and life there compared to 10 years ago is night and day. Even in cities that are further away from the big 4 (e.g. north of New Delhi, even in Himachal Pradesh which used to be very clean as the Himalayas start there) have an extremely visible layer of smog, especially in winters. Pollution is pretty bad and water shortage is becoming more common. But surprisingly, neither the government there or the public seem to treat this as a top national emergency. This may sound elitist, but I consider New Delhi an unlivable city.
It's a difficult tradeoff. Economic development seems to be the only parameter that matters, especially when there are so many in poverty.
Some all time top posts on r/urbanhell are from India (UNPLEASANT IMAGERY WARNING):
(River Yamuna. This river was reasonably clean 20 years ago but now you can see this terrible foam from the pollution and intense garbage disposal into the rivers. And yes, that's people praying, as Yamuna is considered one of the holy rivers)
"Ganga is so pure, it's literally impossible to make it impure and it has capabilities to wash off all our sins, then how can it possibly be polluted by people bathing/washing their cloths in it?"
I tried making people understand, the only way we've forward is making movies which show what can happen if we don't stop these activities then it will begin making sense to people who have no education background.
Half a decade ago, I visited some very distant relatives in Delhi. I woke up at night unable to breathe properly. The next morning, when I told them about my ordeal, people boasted about their ability to breathe such air and laughed at my inability. The situation has not improved.
Western concerns imposed on developing countries is not a good idea.
Life here is safe and sound for us to think about climate change and other things. When people in India don't even have clean water or electricity they shouldn't give a shit about environment or other things.
It took the US 200 years of development before it started working about these things. And the US is / was a developed nation.
This isn't about east and west it's about today and the past. In fact if you look at the air pollution levels in New York and Chicago in the 70s they were very high and something was done about them. Currently developed nations had the advantage of being able to externalise the environmental cost of pollution without it affecting them as much immediately during development. Developing nations today don't have that luxury. Time is running out.
Again a priority for the US..
Imagine if British in late 1700s had said and made sure that "we will only hand off this beautiful country to you if you abolish slavery". It took a whopping 100 years before anything happened.
These are all imagined, self-righteous concerns.
Leave a country to sort out its own misery in its own time. We have meddled and tortured enough out of these countries already.
If there is any priority or imposition, I would want to think like Bill Gates... His priorities are aligned with the well-being of the developing nations not the US.
I don't know why you're so into the United States and more importantly, I don't follow what you're saying at all. Are you implying here that country-level concerns are more important than global concerns?
This isn't quite the truth. In fact, I'd say that everything has kind of stalled in India. Real estate development has stalled, the auto industry is in a downward spiral (8 consecutive months of negative growth; sales down almost 25% YoY), and demand for consumer electronics is dwindling. There's a credit crunch thanks to banks getting rid of non performing assets. Add to that, there's a shortage of water.
Pune, I reckon, is one of those boom towns since so many corporates are moving there because Bengaluru and Mumbai are too overcrowded.
But the car sales slump, at least, is very well documented. There's been a drastic fall in demand and everyone is bandying about myriad reasons (fuel prices, ridesharing, etc.). I just think people don't have enough money
I have to hedge my tentative comments by pointing out that India is probably doing the best wildlife conservation job of any country in the world bar New Zealand. That they can faciltate such large populations of tigers and elephants in such a densely populated country speaks volumes in favour of them.
While it is a big issue, and still quite prevalent, things are changing fast thanks to digitization of much of the government workflows. There is almost no corruption in departments that have been fully digitized.
It's a long way to go, but thankfully technology seems to be solving a human problem.
That might be an excessively pessimistic attitude - intolerance of corruption is also a deeply rooted human trait.
It seems to me there might be some tradeoff between having a flexible society and having a just one, the more leeway any particular actor has, the more they can use that leeway to gain personal advantage. It seems at least possible that a thorough study of the factors affecting levels of corruption could improve the overall system to have both more personal freedom and less overall corruption.
I agree completely but money isn't the only parameter. Timing, rate of environmental degradation, culture, politics and future unknown curve balls (luck) will all play a large part in the development of this history.
The manufacturing site and everything was set 15 years ago in China with very little pollution consideration in mind.
I hope they have learned their lesson and these manufacturing won't bring as much pollution / unit. While I don't expect it to be zero pollution, I just hope improvement are being made, and since Foxconn is working with Apple, I believe they will surely force a few criteria.
" 1800s England, Manchester child workers were losing their hands to clean dirt from textile machine without stoping them because it can effect their productivity.
Same children who has just cleaned narrow chimney. "
I think this pollution and all those sufferings are first step of industrialisation you might say what about current england or germany, I guess they suffered enough to make changes.
It's been hard for me to find a definitive number , and what that actually means, but it looks like to labeled something as "made in India" companies are required to have 30% of the final product locally sourced.
> According to the foreign direct investment rules [...] “sourcing of 30 per cent of the value of goods purchased will be done from India, preferably from MSMEs, village and cottage industries, artisans and craftsmen, in all sectors”
I feel like getting to 30% of the value would be a stretch if the ICs, PCB assembly, and possibly screen are coming from China and Taiwan/TSMC. Like, the case and battery are worth something, but not tons.
> It's pretty easy to value custom built components whatever you like.
Not if you’ve valued them very differently before in different tax jurisdictions. There’s definitely a certain degree of freedom in how the components of a finished product are valued when they have no, or very limited, alternative uses, but you can’t just pick a number arbitrarily out of a hat. Companies have to do internal cost accounting to figure out whether manufacturing a component to a certain quality, or in a certain place makes sense, and while there may not be exact equivalents on the open market there will be close ones in most cases. Worst comes to worst you can see how much an order of size X would cost from a manufacturer capable of producing the component. There are many degrees of freedom in transfer pricing but they’re finite.
I guess that's true. If you're not actually selling them other than in your device, you can argue that they're basically worthless as bits of plastic and metal, and all the "value" is being created by the India-based assembly process that turns them from parts into functioning phones.
Does it actually cost $100 to produce an IC, though? Like, the manufacture of the device itself is relatively cheap, especially in volume— all the cost is R&D, test harnesses, simulation, license fees, etc.
Is this specifically US? Surely you cant warp, say PCB that normally cost 20 cents on the upper bound and average of 10 cents, and say it now cost $20, because you are amortise $2 Billion of R&D over the 100M unit?
You could definitely hide a lot of R&D within some form of limit, but it isn't a free pass for everything. At least from what I knew in the old UK's standard. There is a new what's labeled as UK's GAAP which I have no idea about.
This particular requirement is tied to operating what's called a single-brand retail outlet in India. That would be Apple-owned Apple Stores. It is not clear to me if this is a requirement for foreign manufacturers who are manufacturing/assembling products in India and then exporting them.
The phones are labeled "Assembled in India", not "Made in India", and have less than 30% locally sourced materials. There is some discussion to possibly meet this level eventually, but it is not currently the case.
Apple already uses multiple suppliers for each stage of production, so shipping production lines to other countries wouldn't be that difficult. Beyond that you'd just be sourcing bulk components, which I'm sure their Chinese suppliers will happily ship to India. Raw materials like the aluminum could be locally sourced.
> which I'm sure their Chinese suppliers will happily ship to India
That's a good point. The requirements seems to be about locally sourcing components, not locally manufacturing them. It's entirely possible for a Chinese company to have a subsidiary in India that's supplying components to Apple.
>Interesting to note the article mentions iPhone 6, 6s and 7
This is pretty much why Apple or other OEMs can't move all production out of PRC. Mainland supply chain and expertise is critical to rapidly refining and launching new products. Once manufacturing matures, the process can be exported to other countries. Apart from Indian, I don't think any other country can replicate Chinese scale and specific expertise, the latter being particularly limiting due to demographics. Both would take generations to develop.
Those are some fantastic values. It's our job as the public to demand companies stick to their values and to cause a ruckus if they act like hypocrites. And it's our job to pass laws to encourage better values. My 2 cents.
Companies don't have moral values, except as a sales pitch. They won't keep to them either, except as required by public outrage. Let's not put on our rose-tinted glasses, even for a track record that's less dark gray than some other companies.
I don't think it's a matter of risking money, rather annual product cycles, i.e. their entire hardware business model is not viable without China. If there's another country that can do what China currently dose at twice the price, moving there would be courage. If moving out of China means 2 year hardware cycles then that would short sighted.
The Chinese supply chains that eventually build the iPhone grew from economic development zones in the 80s. India isn't starting from zero, but it's also not going to replicate that within a decade. Assuming it could - we don't know if democracies can direct capital development the same way authoritarian state capitalism could. I think India should be fine, at least in the short term, if only because Chinese manufacturing want to migrate to ASEAN. It benefits their bottom line. However, there's also the possibility that China will spin up African manufacturing before Indian industry can inherit the role.
China is working to escape middle income trap, their goal is to shift into higher paying domestic consumption + services which means inevitably shifting manufacturing out of the country. They are already experiencing labor shortages due to high wage, and combined with efforts to reduce pollution the government and business owner interest are aligned. Keep in mind most of the factories Chinese owned, they have incentive to offshore their business to where labor is cheap, currently that's in adjacent ASEAN countries that's relatively close to Chinese logistics chain.
As for Africa, they're already paying for the infrastructure, if resources is near by, it makes sense to consolidate manufacturing. And geopolitical it's preferable to boosting the development of India, an immediate regional competitor. Also Africa is fragmented and easier to negotiate with, have similar demographics to India (lots of young), more willing to learn mandarin. Alternatively, we're not even sure if massive manufacturing nations are viable with automation. Regardless there's
Yeah, it's rather strange that Apple's dropping so many recent devices in iOS 13, especially since they specifically talked about improved performance on the 6 in the iOS 12 announcement . They also dropped the 6th gen ipod touch, which they were still selling up until a few months ago.
Why do you think they started updating system/apple apps outside of the iOS version releases. They can keep updating the apps and give security updates to the older version of iOS for previous gen phones.
Do they actually do this? AFAIK, almost all the system apps are bundled with the OS, and don't recieve any updates after the next version is released; the last time I remember them ever releasing a security update for an old version was the certificate validation issue a few years ago.
iOS 12 is only "fast" if you compare it to the disastrous iOS 11. At some point around iOS 12.2, our iPhone 6 Plus became so slow that we replaced it (with a new iPhone of course). iOS 10 would have been a good LTS release for the iPhone 6.
It's nice to know, thanks. I wonder why they decide to drop support of those quite modern phones. I could understand when they dropped support for old phones with slow CPU and tiny RAM, or when they dropped support for 32 bit. But iPhone SE is very powerful device, for example.
The trouble is that India has a social bootstrapping problem. India's governance depends on the leaders Indians elect, which means that the electorate sets the policy followed by the leaders. And this electorate is largely poor and illiterate. This means that vastly sub-optimal policies get followed than what would be ideal. Often religious, casteist and nationalistic tropes are an easier sell than those based on science, commonsense and reason. But it also has the advantage that draconian policies that oppress the citizens don't get implemented.
While this is great news for India, it is sort of expected. Chinese mobile companies have been manufacturing in India and produce 80-90% of their phones locally.
There are clear benefits for Apple here. China, as a manufacturing destination, has become less attractive due to rising wages and US-China trade war. Higher wages are good for Chinese people but not great for manufacturing. India is a cheaper destination and the recent government has been very business friendly. India now ranks 77th in the ease of doing business compared to 130th a few years ago. India has heavily invested in building out basic infrastructure like roads and power. It has also cracked down on corruption and a lot of government services have been digitized to reduce opportunities for corruption. Combined with a cheap labor force that speaks English is a great recipe for anybody looking to manufacture goods at a cheap price. Escaping the US-China trade war is a side benefit for Apple.
India has plenty of water. The problem plaguing South India, specifically Chennai, was anticipated. The central government was fixing it. However it lacked sufficient support from the state government.
I really don't want to start a political argument on HN but this is nonsense. How exactly was the central government fixing it?
> However it lacked sufficient support from the state
Since the state's Chief Minister Jayalalitha passed away, the state government has been in the central government's pocket. The central government could have gotten away with virtually anything. And the AIADMK is officially part of the NDA. So, there is no way I'm buying the 'no support' theory.
It’s a bit strange: the EU has not levied tariffs on China, so it would make more sense to ship Indian iPhones to the US in partial replacement of Chinese ones and send the Chinese ones to Europe instead.
It's possible without being patronising or racist to say that India needs to follow a different model of development than the western one. In fact, that idea was central to the Gandhian independence struggle - just read the great man's Hind Swaraj!
There are many reasons for doing so. For one, we don't have colonies we can screw over - i.e., India's India - while enriching ourselves. Assuming we would want to do that at all.
We also don't have the window of opportunity that China had for becoming a manufacturing hub. That's been done and while we can compete for a percentage of the spoils, it will never be the gold rush that took manufacturing to China. The politics of globalization alone will ensure that.
Second, we don't have the luxury of several decades of uninterrupted "development" before thinking about the environment. Climate change is going to hit us hard well before that, and one look at the water crisis should tell you that the basic necessities of life will need to be carefully managed.
I have nothing against assembling iPhones in Bangalore. Or becoming the world capital of CRISPR technologies. However, those can't become the driving forces of a future India. We need to think boldly beyond those constraints. I am not saying returning to a romantic conception of an ideal past, but a detour around the mess that industrial capitalism is already creating and will continue to create if we don't think of alternatives.
it might be hard for developing nations to resist the temptation to steal Western tech.
IMO this contains a major misconception: that any country/region/etc that takes on a production role does not also intrinsically gain competency in that kind of production. If company X goes to country Y to produce a product, then X is "teaching" Y how to do that kind of production, period. No "stealing" necessary. This is a big part of a positive feedback cycle that has driven China's current manufacturing base. Not just China – I've seen it cited in a few places that Apple itself, by heavily relying on Samsung as an early iPhone supplier, helped significantly to establish Samsung as a major smartphone competitor.
There are two main issues with IP and China. One is outright theft (the old fashioned way), Two is forcing local ownership and IP sharing. It's the latter that's most problematic for foreign businesses mfg in China. India AFAIK, unlike China and Russia, doesn't contractually force foreign concerns to hand over IP.
The saving grace (in my opinion) is that India is vastly more susceptible to pressure from outside than China. Indian government can't simply impose a policy and expect the population to fall in line. If western sanctions make lives difficult for India's industry or the common citizens, the government will have to backtrack pretty much immediately.
I believe India has had a better track record than China as far as IP is concerned. The only concern I would have is India's patent laws are different from the US. Evergreening of drugs has been repeatedly rejected.
Mostly through bribery and the use of influence pedalling. I'm not saying that Apple will directly engage in these practices, or condone them, but whenever you have a poor country and an inefficient bureaucracy, someone is paying someone to keep things moving. In the US we've largely legalized bribery and buying influence, via unlimited campaign contributions and lobbying. The same thing happens everywhere else in the world, but it's still more under the covers there.
As a mother who recently found out that the Chinese communist party has been snatching kids away from their Uighur mothers and fathers and placed in Chinese concentration camps to be brainwashed, and thus have decided to stop buying any and all ‘made in China’ products whenever possible.
I just want to say
Thank you to any and all corporations that are moving out of China. It will make my shopping easier.