Can you buy a “Made in America” Tablet PC?
Tablet PC’s are probably going to be on most peoples shopping lists this Christmas season and with all the talk of buying products “Made in America “ I thought that I would do a bit of research and find out if you could buy a Tablet PC that was made in America. However as I quickly found out, that is not as easy as it sounds. A search of the Made in the USA website did not produce any USA made Tablets and searching the web did not help either. What is Made in America? The issue gets complicated because as with most technology based devices, Tablet Pc’s are made up of various components (Touch Screen, Processor, Multimedia system to name a few) and no one company manufactures all these components or assembles them due to expertise, costs and other factors. Apart from the pure manufacturing costs associated with these devices, there are other parts of the puzzle that need to be addressed when looking for Made in America products. Are the designers from the USA, Europe or the Far East? Who heads up these companies, are they based in America and what impact will that have on American Made products? In the case of Apple devices, it is a well-known fact that their designs have come from California with the late Steve Jobs being credited with its innovation and success. However the man most responsible for Apples innovation (after Steve Jobs) is little know British designer Jonathan Ive, who is the Senior Vice President of Industrial Design at Apple and with Steve Jobs is responsible for over 200 Apple patents.
America’s strength lies in its leadership and creativity skills which stems from its culture. Children are encouraged to think for themselves from a very young age and think ‘outside the box’, believe in themselves and stand up for what they believe in. The success America has attained over the years has translated into a higher standard of living which in turn translates into higher manufacturing costs. California has a Minimum wage of $8 p/hr while San Francisco is $9.92p/hr according to Wikipedia. These minimum hourly rates are unheard of in the Far East where the average worker earns 800 Yuan (~US $123) per month although this has recently been increased to 960 Yuan (~US$150). According to Wikipedia China does not have a Minimum wage stipulation, however with their rising economic growth the demand for higher wages is rapidly increasing which will impact manufacturing costs that could level the playing field. When profits die down shareholders look at other avenues to increase their profit margins.
So, is it possible to find a “Made In America” Tablet PC, the short answer is not yet. In reality we have the leadership, creativity, manpower and resources to make it happen. All we need is the right incentive to bring it home.
Filed under: Tablet PC snippets