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Apple, Foxconn & Manufacturing Strategy 

 Why Apple Changed Its Strategy--A Case Study

Kansas City

16 MAR 2012

Issue# 78

Kansas City - 16 MAR 2012

Steve Jobs and Apple once built a "factory of the future" in Fremont, California. They spent $20,000,000 and then closed it  after just two years. Today Apple Computer is worth more than Poland. So, what went wrong in 1984 and what is going right for Apple and Foxconn today?

What went wrong was not cheap overseas labor. It was their failure to integrate Marketing Strategy with Manufacturing Strategy. Or, more likely, Apple failed to even consider the issues of Manufacturing Strategy. Later, when Apple partnered with Foxconn and gave up altogether on manufacturing, Foxconn apparently did not repeat the mistakes.

Two videos, available on YouTube, were taken inside the Apple Fremont and Foxconn factories. Although not intended, these videos give significant insights into Apple's failure at Freemont and Foxconn's current success. They illustrate several principles of Manufacturing Strategy.

Our new web page, Apple, Foxconn & Manufacturing Strategy, reviews the 1984 Apple video tour and points out significant scenes that shed light on the operation and why it probably closed.

Our upcoming newsletter will examine Foxconn's approach to the challenge and how they have, so far, avoided some of Apple's early mistakes. To wrap up this series, we will examine some possibilities that Apple might have used to meet their manufacturing challenges within the U.S.

Best Regards,

Quarterman Lee


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