88% of Apple’s Suppliers Are In Asia

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) released a complete list of its 748 suppliers in January, and the statistics aren’t too surprising. About 88 percent of suppliers are in Asia — more than 600 of the 748 — while 11 percent are in the U.S., and only 7 percent are in Europe and the Middle East.

The tech company has 331 suppliers in China, 148 in Japan, 76 in the United States, 35 in Taiwan, 27 in Malaysia, 25 in Singapore, 23 in the Philippines, 17 in Thailand, 7 in the United Kingdom, 5 in Israel, and 4 in Austria, just to name a few.

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Apple and a number of other companies that outsource manufacturing have found it difficult to maintain legal and ethical labor standards, despite concerted efforts to improve working conditions. As a result, CEO Tim Cook announced at the end of last year that Apple would be spending more than $100 million to bring some manufacturing back to the U.S.

Cook said in an interview with BusinessWeek: “It’s not known well that the engine for the iPhone and iPad is made in the U.S., and many of these are also exported — the engine, the processor. The glass is made in Kentucky. And next year we are going to bring some production to the U.S. on the Mac. We’ve been working on this for a long time, and we were getting closer to it. It will happen in 2013. We’re really proud of it. We could have quickly maybe done just assembly, but it’s a broader base because we wanted to do something more substantial. So we’ll literally invest over $100 million. This doesn’t mean that Apple will do it ourselves, but we’ll be working with people, and we’ll be investing our money.”

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Some analysts have dismissed Cook’s plans as mere rhetoric and empty promises, but if founded, moving more production back to the U.S. could be an important step for the company, which has received a great deal of flack in recent years for its treatment of this issue. And the jobs the tech giant plans to create will be a boon for the U.S. economy.

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