The iPod Is Built Globally, But The Money Is Made In The US

from the world-music dept

Over at The New York Times, economist Hal Varian discusses a recent study that looked at the various countries involved in making an iPod. Not surprisingly, a large chunk of each iPod goes abroad, as companies in different countries are involved with its production, either as parts suppliers or manufacturers. The study is useful in showing the difficulty in measuring trade statistics, although the authors conclude that each iPod sold contributes $150 to the US trade deficit with China. Andy Kessler actually took up this exact issue a few years ago, examining the link between the iPod and the trade deficit. The key thing to realize is that while Apple receives a fairly modest cut of each iPod sold, it's by far the most profitable chunk. The money made by the various chip makers and assemblers commands the low margins that are typical for their industries. Thus, while you could blame Apple for causing so many dollars to leave the US, you have to figure in the company's exploding stock price post-iPod. When the iPod was launched in October, 2001, the company's market cap was less than a tenth of what it is now ($105 billion). So any contribution to the trade deficit that the company might be responsible for is more than compensated by the $90+ billion that it's added back to the US economy.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
    identicon
    angry dude, Jun 28th, 2007 @ 11:02pm

    Yeah

    "Proudly designed in California, Made in China"

    Somebody please explain little Joe how clueless he really is...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    GoblinJuice, Jun 29th, 2007 @ 12:07am

    We're global, baby.

    Welcome to the 21st Century. Please, accept and adjust or fuck off and die. =)

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    dotlizard, Jun 29th, 2007 @ 12:16am

    capitalism, what a concept.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
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    ReallyEvilCanine, Jun 29th, 2007 @ 12:29am

    I'm no mercantilist

    But unless you can show that Apple's foreign investors have sunk at least as much cash into Apple as Apple has sent outside the country then all you have is a shuffling of monies that would have gone elsewhere in the economy, perhaps (though unlikely) to domestically produced goods. Every iPod purchased has an opportunity cost, and if the next best good forgone didn't contribute to the increasing trade deficit then the cost is even higher from the macro perspective.

     

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  5.  
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    EGR, Jun 29th, 2007 @ 1:13am

    The Future of the US Economy

    Welcome to the future. People need not worry about falling investment in US manufacturing or falling enrollment in US engineering programs. The US doesn't need those things. All we need are lawyers, guns and money. With those things we can get whatever we want from the rest of the world. So what if the iPod is made in China? Most of the MONEY from it is made here! How does that work? Simple. Apple's LAWYERS make sure Apple owns the rights and the govt's GUNS back them up.

    I went to school and got an engineering degree but I would never make that mistake again. Law school is the way to go.

     

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  6.  
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    Paul`, Jun 29th, 2007 @ 5:14am

    Re: The Future of the US Economy

    And then when you have all shot the LAWYERS with the GUNS and move onto everyone else, the world will be laughing.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Sanguine Dream, Jun 29th, 2007 @ 5:42am

    Now really....


    So any contribution to the trade deficit that the company might be responsible for is more than compensated by the $90+ billion that it's added back to the US economy.


    How much of that that $90 billion being added back to the US economy and how much ends up in some executives bank account to insure that no one in his family line never has to work again?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2007 @ 6:25am

    Re: Re: The Future of the US Economy

    And then when you have all shot the LAWYERS with the GUNS and move onto everyone else, the world will be laughing.
    That won't happen because the lawyers, through the govt., control the guns (police and military). Why do you think the US spends more on its military than the rest of the world combined?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
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    Overcast, Jun 29th, 2007 @ 6:54am

    Well, if they are doing the work of putting them together, then payment is due of course.

    What I hate to see, is Government's like China's reaping the rewards instead of their people.

    If I would have thought of going to the next World Olympics, I would certainly change my mind considering that China more or less just threw the entire town out of their houses so they could 're-build' it to look 'good'. It's a farce.

    I would have RATHER went to the run down town and met with REAL Chinese. Not these mannequins the Chinese government will put out all 'dollied' up.

    As for the people of the world, it's good to see jobs and such go to them. If the government's would just back off and allow people to entertain their own ambition the whole world would be such a better place.

     

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  10.  
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    Davin Peterson, Jun 29th, 2007 @ 11:06am

    What About Creative Zen?

    Everything is always iPod, and the Zen gets no recognition. Creative Zen has been made since 2001 as well. They are better than the iPod.

    The iPod is made in China.
    The Zen is made in Malaysia. The Zen is better quality and doesn't break when dropped like the iPod does.

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    Tom, Feb 12th, 2008 @ 12:59pm

    Where is that $90 Billion

    This is supposed to be a reasonbly intelligent column. That stupid remark about adding $90 billion to the US economy makes me rethink that. My basis is that, if I (and a bunch of other investors) bought a share of stock at $1 at an IPO and it went up 10,000% to $100, then what? If I (and all the other investors - and it has to be all of them to get to the supposed $90 billion) try to sell the stock and spend the money, then the price of the stock would crash (probably back to the $1).
    The "capitalized" value of a company never "puts money in the economy". It is nowhere near the amount of money that could be "put into the economy" even if all of the stock was sold. The price drops as it sells and to top it all off, the "exchange" between owners means that money is being taken out of the economy to buy the stock.
    The economy is based on the purchase of consumables. Whereas, stock represents the ownership of a company. They are not the same thing.

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 8th, 2009 @ 6:51am

    fgfgfgfgfgfggdfgggdssgs

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    buy iPod, Dec 11th, 2009 @ 10:53pm

    Thanks for this nice writing, well... the market of iPod is global, all over the world there are fans of iPods . The online marketplace are selling it all over the world. So, it's natural to built it globally.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    iPod case, Dec 11th, 2009 @ 10:56pm

    iPod stuffs as gift.

    I prefer iPod stuffs as the coolest gift. In the Upcomming Xmas , i don't know how many people gonna buy iPod stuff.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    iPod case, Dec 11th, 2009 @ 10:56pm

    iPod stuffs as gift.

    I prefer iPod stuffs as the coolest gift. In the Upcomming Xmas , i don't know how many people gonna buy iPod stuff.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    patrick helmer, Dec 13th, 2009 @ 8:16pm

    Opinion

    Your discussion is related with capitalism.Why??Is there any basic reason for that???

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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