Apple's recipe for Chinese supply chain and manufacturing success, but are they too reliant on China [Podcast]

Renaud and Adrian explore how Apple built a successful Chinese supply chain, how they control bringing new products to market, and whether its ‘reliance’ on China might be a double-edged sword. Their ‘best practices’ could benefit SMEs who are also developing and manufacturing new products in China and Asia, so let’s see how Apple gets it right.


Listen here!

Listen: to the podcast episode

Watch: on Youtube


Episode sections

  • 00:00 – Greetings.
  • 01:20 – The topic: A focus on Apple. How they built a successful supply chain in China, and whether are they too reliant on China now.
  • 04:00 – “I want to make a product with Apple’s quality and design.” Realistic?
  • 08:06 – Finding new suppliers to keep the pressure on their supply chain and get the best deal possible.
  • 11:26 – Apple has 15k of their own staff in China. What does this mean?
  • 17:47 – Apple may not own the factories, but they do own a lot of the equipment. Why?
  • 23:32 – They get sub-suppliers to commit to building custom parts just for Apple in large quantities.
  • 27:27 – The benefits of using CMs like Foxconn.
  • 29:29 – Giving away too much control and technical know-how is not the Apple way.
  • 35:27 – Apple’s attempts to diversify supply chains into Vietnam and India.
  • 40:07 – Will/should they leave China entirely?
  • 49:48 – Wrapping up.


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