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148 Comments:
rorykoehler said 10 days ago:

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.

unexpected said 10 days ago:

Let's use your reasons, but look at it from the opposite side: 1) The largest contributor to the poor air quality in India is the practice of burning to clear fields, cook stoves that use wood, and the burning of cow dung [https://www.vox.com/2018/5/8/17316978/india-pollution-levels...].

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!

sandGorgon said 10 days ago:

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.

Bouncingsoul1 said 10 days ago:

both petrol and diesel are banned. Do you have a source for this, I tried to look it up but it seems to only be for 15 years petrol and 10 years old diesel cars.

envolt said 10 days ago:

For commercial vehicles (e.g all Uber rides) petrol and diesel are banned.

15 and 10 year is for privately owned vehicles

kshacker said 10 days ago:

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.

lozf said 8 days ago:

I'd noticed that most cabs have out of state plates, and now I know why - thanks.

brownbat said 10 days ago:

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.

[0] https://www.gatesnotes.com/Books/Factfulness#

[1] https://www.gatesnotes.com/Health/Most-Lethal-Animal-Mosquit...

mayankkaizen said 10 days ago:

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.

patrickaljord said 10 days ago:

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.

riffraff said 10 days ago:

Notice birth rate in India is already close to 2 kids per woman, so not far from "rich countries" averages.

Ambele said 6 days ago:

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.

rorykoehler said 10 days ago:

Yes it is a timing issue. Can they do it before it's too late?

pushtheenvelope said 10 days ago:

Your comment is rather patronising.

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.

rorykoehler said 10 days ago:

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.

pushtheenvelope said 9 days ago:

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.

Ambele said 6 days ago:

> Would you have brought up other social/political/environmental challenges that Texas faces (oh i don't know, like racial equity, or floods)?

Yes. For examples, look at the top comments for the top three HN articles on Foxconn in Wisconsin.

pushtheenvelope said 5 days ago:

sure! lets do this exercise.

1. I did a google search of "site:news.ycombinator.com Foxconn in Wisconsin", and opened the top 3 links.

2. first link: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19037625. The top comment (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19038615) seems to be about cronyism and corruption in the terms offered to Foxconn by the Wisconsis government? I could be a bit off, i haven't followed that story closely. But, and this is important, its not about generalized corruption, its about corruption on this Foxconn deal!

3. second link: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=18328772. here the top comment (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=18329445) is directly quoting the article about Foxconn getting exemptions from the environmental laws in Wisconsin. This is directly relevant to the article posted, again not about generic environmental concerns.

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.

geraltofrivia said 10 days ago:

All the more reason to invest, industrialize the economy?

kumarharsh said 9 days ago:

And how do you suggest India "deals with it"? Because you've discarded creating more job opportunities as a viable solution.

rorykoehler said 9 days ago:

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.

code_duck said 10 days ago:

So there’s the choice of malnutrition or pollution?

pushtheenvelope said 10 days ago:

Nope - I don’t think there is, but the parent (to my original comment) seemed to be suggesting so

rorykoehler said 10 days ago:

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.

nyrulez said 10 days ago:

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):

https://i.redd.it/n8sdntzy8bb11.jpg

https://i.redd.it/y7i3lb94b1021.jpg

(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)

whatshisface said 10 days ago:

Why do they accept their holy rivers being polluted? Surely the religious leadership is not happy with that.

gingabriska said 10 days ago:

The religious logic here goes like this

"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.

srib said 10 days ago:

> Surely the religious leadership is not happy with that.

Hindu religion is not like Catholic Church. Unfortunately, in such issues, it is very fragmented and 'decentralized' with multiple different sects, castes, pontiffs etc.

Uttar Pradesh, where Ganga mostly flows has a lot of water heavy low-tech businesses. Leather tanneries is the first thing that comes to my mind. Illiteracy doesn't help either.

Things are changing. Ganga in Varanasi and a few other areas are much cleaner in the last couple years than they have been in the past!

msiyer said 8 days ago:

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.

mindfulplay said 10 days ago:

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.

solarkraft said 10 days ago:

This does not make climate change less of an issue. We're at an important turning point and the developed nations just can't stop it alone.

Of course they should be doing way, way more and support ways of cleaner development financially.

mindfulplay said 10 days ago:

Every single one of these new fangled issues was not an issue thirty years ago in the US. So...

What makes the West the arbiter of such issues for other countries?

rorykoehler said 10 days ago:

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.

bildung said 10 days ago:

> This does not make climate change less of an issue. We're at an important turning point and the developed nations just can't stop it alone.

India really isn't much of an issue on that front. The 1.3 billion people living in India produce less than half the greenhouse gas emission of the USA, which has less than 1/4 of India's population.

rorykoehler said 10 days ago:

We all know the US is the worst offender for greenhouse gases but there's more to pollution than global warming.

bildung said 9 days ago:

Absolutely! My response was specifically adressing the climate change aspect, not pollution in general.

krageon said 9 days ago:

If all the "developing countries" don't learn from developed countries' mistakes everyone will be poor 100 years from now, because it'll keep going to shit same as it is now.

mindfulplay said 9 days ago:

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.

krageon said 7 days ago:

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?

danmaz74 said 10 days ago:

Not giving a shit about the environment isn't such a great way to get clean water.

xenocyon said 10 days ago:

Your concerns are real but not germane to the issue. The main issue with air quality in Indian cities is particulate matter, which has little to do with semiconductor manufacturing or assembly.

rorykoehler said 10 days ago:

Everything is booming in India. I can see huge amounts of manufacturing moving there in the coming decade as countries start to fear China.

puranjay said 10 days ago:

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.

rorykoehler said 10 days ago:

Certainly didn't feel like it in Pune. New towns are mushrooming up along the highway like there's no tomorrow.

puranjay said 10 days ago:

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

harigov said 10 days ago:

I always thought that the Indian population is at a disastrous proportions but I saw this website recently that compared size of a country with another country - https://www.mylifeelsewhere.com/country-size-comparison/indi...

It seems like India is 9 times the size of Japan and 10 times the population. It's high but its not unmanageably high for a fertile piece of land with good weather for significant part of the year.

All your arguments about political system incapable of fixing problems quickly still stand though.

rorykoehler said 10 days ago:

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.

lm28469 said 10 days ago:

India is clearly an outsider though, even compared to japan: https://pudding.cool/2018/10/city_3d/

therwer34234 said 10 days ago:

Amusingly, villages in India are rapidly getting depopulated much like their Japanese counterparts. Population is mostly an issue in urban centers.

desi_ninja said 10 days ago:

you need a lot of money to fix these problems. successful manufacturing hub will bring that money. This is a pattern. Indian booming tech sector led to a lot of improvements

AtomicOrbital said 10 days ago:

Core issue in India is systemic corruption ... failure of rule of law a close second ... Until these are addressed that culture will squander it's future

anotherneuron said 10 days ago:

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.

thanks1banks2 said 10 days ago:

Please. It is well documented that systemic corruption was introduced at scale by the East India Company and we carry a lot of arcane baggage from the erstwhile colonial power.

We are eradicating it through education and technology to the extent possible, albeit at a slower pace than we would ideally like.

alexashka said 10 days ago:

I don't think anyone is arguing why there is systemic corruption. The parent was merely pointing out that it's a problem today.

If it's of any comfort - corruption is alive and well in most other countries as well, they simply have more resources per citizen and as a result, it is better disguised.

The solution seems to be to raise the standard of living of everyone involved - corruption is not going anywhere, it seems to be a deeply rooted human trait.

SuoDuanDao said 10 days ago:

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.

rorykoehler said 10 days ago:

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.

glasshead969 said 10 days ago:

Democratic process is slow but i am optimistic that these problems will be solved as the country grows richer. It’s chaotic but there is progress in this madness however slow.

ksec said 10 days ago:

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.

mertnesvat said 10 days ago:

" 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.

rorykoehler said 9 days ago:

You may be right however I hope we can learn from the past in an effort to continuously improve.

said 10 days ago:
[deleted]
new299 said 10 days ago:

I’d be curious to know which parts of the manufacturing process are carried out in India. I assume it includes “final assembly”. But does all CNC work, PCB assembly happen in India?

PCB assembly in particular, seems unlikely? The supply chains are all in China, and it’s a largely automated procsss.

rubyn00bie said 10 days ago:

It's been hard for me to find a definitive number [1], 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.

[1] https://indianexpress.com/article/technology/tech-news-techn... I linked this article because the bit at the bottom:

> 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”

mikepurvis said 10 days ago:

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.

londons_explore said 10 days ago:

It's pretty easy to value custom built components whatever you like.

They are either very cheap components, but you paid a massive r&d grant to have them designed for you, or they are very expensive components but you paid no r&d costs.

Choose whatever suits to best avoid taxes, quotas, fees, and regulations...

barry-cotter said 10 days ago:

> 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.

mikepurvis said 10 days ago:

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.

fastball said 10 days ago:

Not if you're paying X to produce these parts.

You can't say "this part is only worth $10" if it's costing you $100 to produce.

mikepurvis said 9 days ago:

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.

khuey said 10 days ago:

For extra points make different choices in different tax jurisdictions.

formercoder said 10 days ago:

The magic of GAAP

ksec said 10 days ago:

That is not entirely true, you cant just name an R&D budget, you have to show it in some way.

amdavidson said 9 days ago:

It is super true if you are using outside resources for R&D/NREC.

Line item on the PO or wrap it into the part costs.

ksec said 9 days ago:

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.

demodifier said 10 days ago:

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.

trevyn said 10 days ago:

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.

envolt said 10 days ago:

This is why it took this much time for Apple to set it up.

distant_hat said 9 days ago:

Apple asked for and got exemptions to the 30% rule.

dsl said 10 days ago:

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.

umeshunni said 10 days ago:

> 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.

tsjq said 10 days ago:

>It's entirely possible for a Chinese company to have a subsidiary in India that's supplying components to Apple

IIRC : isn't it Foxconn making the phones in India too ?

ksec said 10 days ago:

Yes but that is assuming the component being imported to India are without traffic.

solarkraft said 10 days ago:

Note that largely automated processes are quite easygoing to move between regions, since labor cost is not a significant factor.

avemuri said 10 days ago:

I think it's still done by Foxconn, just at an Indian facility. Chinese company in India, not domestic capability.

AareyBaba said 10 days ago:

Foxconn is a Taiwan based company.

etaioinshrdlu said 10 days ago:

It would be Courageous to move all production out of the PRC, or any other totalitarian state.

Interesting to note the article mentions iPhone 6, 6s and 7. I wouldn't have guessed these were still in production!

dirtyid said 10 days ago:

>move all production out of the PRC

...

>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.

etaioinshrdlu said 10 days ago:

Exactly, it would be a courageous move for the richest company in the world (by cash on hand, seems to still be Apple by a wide margin) to risk losing $$ for standing up with its moral values.

dahfizz said 10 days ago:

It would also be great if they donated 50% of profits to charity. Companies don't throw away money for the fun of it.

For all it's 'courage' and self righteousness, Apple is a profit seeking entity like every other.

etaioinshrdlu said 10 days ago:

Some Apple core values:

https://www.apple.com/environment/

https://www.apple.com/diversity/

https://www.apple.com/privacy/

https://www.apple.com/supplier-responsibility/

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.

krageon said 9 days ago:

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.

dirtyid said 10 days ago:

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.

shitgoose said 10 days ago:

first iphone was announced in 2007. much less than one generation ago. india will be fine.

dirtyid said 10 days ago:

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.

shitgoose said 10 days ago:

"Chinese manufacturing want to migrate to ASEAN"

curious, what do you mean by that?

"China will spin up African manufacturing"

you think that will work? also, my limited understanding is that china is after africa's natural resources, infrastructure etc, not people.

dirtyid said 9 days ago:

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

TomMarius said 9 days ago:

> infrastructure

Hardly, they're building it themself since there isn't any

rusticpenn said 10 days ago:

As far as I know, India has atleast one Nokia manufacturing plant...

vbezhenar said 10 days ago:

iPhone 6 is surprising indeed, because upcoming iOS 13 does not support it. Selling devices which will stop updating in a few months sounds very bad.

43920 said 10 days ago:

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 [1]. They also dropped the 6th gen ipod touch, which they were still selling up until a few months ago.

[1] https://singjupost.com/tim-cook-at-apple-wwdc-2018-keynote-f...

xbmcuser said 10 days 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.

43920 said 10 days ago:

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.

Redoubts said 10 days ago:

Sounds like a perfect LTS release to me!

gurkendoktor said 10 days 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.

This trend honestly makes me feel dirty to work in software. If you only use a few core apps, iOS 12 looks and feels just like iOS 7, yet it needs several times the horsepower to work. And unlike on the web, we can't blame it on JavaScript ads. It's just shoddy engineering that aligns with Apple's incentives.

handedness said 10 days ago:

They’ll continue to receive security updates.

vbezhenar said 10 days ago:

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.

handedness said 5 days ago:
saagarjha said 10 days ago:

For iOS? Doubtful.

rodgerd said 10 days ago:

A few companies locally offer the 6S as their corporate phone; given it retails for a quarter(!) the price of an Xs it's not hard to see why.

tooltalk said 10 days ago:

Yep, they are still some of the most popular selling smartphones in many markets (at least according to DeviceAtlas):

https://deviceatlas.com/blog/most-popular-smartphones

Arun2009 said 10 days ago:

Just an aside: one thing people who harp on India's population problem seem to miss is that the fertility rates in India are on a steady downward trend. Indeed, it's below replacement level in several Indian states. See here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_states_and_union_terri... . The literacy rates too are improving ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Literacy_in_India) as are the poverty levels (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poverty_in_India). It's no coincidence that India's poorest states are also its most populous and also most illiterate. They also happen to wield the most political power in India.

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.

baybal2 said 10 days ago:

Very analogous to China.

The wealthy south is a political wasteland despite all notions of "powerful southerners running things," while Henan has has mere county level cadres on the committee (an extremely unlikely posting)

In is both a blessing and a curse that the political process happens largely outside of here.

draw_down said 10 days ago:

Is that “an aside” or just off-topic? Come on

techie128 said 10 days ago:

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.

kevin_thibedeau said 10 days ago:

Water scarcity is going to be a problem.

azernik said 10 days ago:

As far as I know Apple's manufacturing process is not particularly water-intensive.

techie128 said 10 days ago:

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.

unmole said 10 days ago:

>The central government was fixing it

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.

option_greek said 10 days ago:

Chennai is sitting next to a Ocean and has sunshine 95% of the days. If they can't figure the solution to their water crisis it is due to their politicians.

oska said 10 days ago:

Desalination is not a panacea.

kkarakk said 9 days ago:

Tell that to the middle east

option_greek said 9 days ago:

Why ?

gingabriska said 9 days ago:

I guess because of the high cost involved, middle east has same sunlight, same ocean and only thing which differs is the money they posses due to petrochemical exports.

tsjq said 10 days ago:

Nov-Dec : wooo. Chennai is flooded. (after 1night heavy rain)

May-June : wooo. Chennai is parched.

just utter callous ruling that state .

fmajid said 10 days ago:

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.

lovemenot said 10 days ago:

It would be strange indeed if US Govt and Apple were the same entity.

If USG wants more of these non-China phones in US markets, what concessions will Apple get in return?

rajekas said 10 days ago:

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.

mindfulplay said 9 days ago:

If anything this will help lift a lot of people out of abject poverty and disease.

Yes money will get filtered through politicians and corrupt machinery, but the people and their children will have the tools and education over time to course-correct their own country.

jorblumesea said 10 days ago:

Is there any concern that the PRC issues are just a symptom of a developing nation bootstrapping? What are the chances that India does the same?

Obviously China has some specific cultural issues but it might be hard for developing nations to resist the temptation to steal Western tech.

saidajigumi said 10 days ago:

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.

mc32 said 10 days ago:

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.

rasz said 10 days ago:

other than drug patents

Arun2009 said 10 days ago:

> What are the chances that India does the same?

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.

techie128 said 10 days ago:

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.

perfopt said 10 days ago:

"Evergreening of drugs has been repeatedly rejected"

Why is this a concern?

techie128 said 10 days ago:

I was citing this as an example of India’s legal system diverging from US.

kitcar said 10 days ago:

I wonder if these are refurbished units (as they are the older models)

tsjq said 10 days ago:

is this the signs of beginning of end of 'Made in China' era ?

jaimex2 said 10 days ago:

Depends if China caves to pressure or not.

codeisawesome said 10 days ago:

How do giants deal with the lack of a fast moving courts system?

caymanjim said 10 days ago:

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.

lota-putty said 10 days ago:

Is there any Ideal-Developed-Nation out there now so that we can compare others to it?

hourislate said 10 days ago:

Hope it works out for them. It was a disaster for NOKIA.

https://www.businesstoday.in/magazine/features/nokia-chennai...

toast0 said 10 days ago:

I don't think Nokia's many problems were connected to manufacturing phones in any particular place, or connected to them manufacturing phones in many places.

margeatwork said 10 days ago:

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.

dang said 10 days ago:

"Eschew flamebait. Don't introduce flamewar topics unless you have something genuinely new to say. Avoid unrelated controversies and generic tangents."

https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html

Please don't create accounts to break the site guidelines with.

margeatwork said 10 days ago:

Thanks for not letting this old lady have a say :) I am sure your mom is proud of you

spaceengineeer said 10 days ago:

I would imagine at this point, Apple or any American companies doing business in China is kind of like this

https://www.reddit.com/r/PublicFreakout/comments/cbl28z/stan...

Being sucker punched in the face with no way to fight back