Apple investing $10.5 billion on unique machinery to serve Jony Ive's design team visions

Apple investing $10.5 billion on unique machinery to serve Jony Ive's design team visions
Apple is no stranger to actually inventing machines to suit the vision of Jony Ive's team, rather than the other way around. It made its own granite-based tool for measuring the motion sensor tech in its iPhones, as well as a process for laminating the display package to the cover glass, thus making devices thinner. Its engineers also developed mass application of a way to make anti-reflection coating particles stick to the screen with an electric charge - a process used before in medical equipment and telescope building, but never on a grand scale.

Now Apple is putting some of its cash pile to good use, Bloomberg reports, planning to invest $10.5 billion in more top-shelf manufacturing equipment for its current and future iPhones. The robots and precision milling, carving, polishing, and camera testing machines are to be situated at Apple's assemblers, but remain an exclusive property of Cupertino.

This could mean that Apple is both trying to secure competitive advantage for its manufacturing process going forward, buying out the most advanced production machinery out there, and at the same time aiming to exert more direct control over its manufacturing chain, whose relentless pursuit of thinning margins often results in stories of exploitation and worker suffering, that no doubt affect Apple's image. 

As per an analyst with Frost & Sullivan, who has dedicated some research on the tools of Apple's design trade: “Their designs are so unique that you have to have a very unique manufacturing process to make it. Apple has so much cash that they can invest in cutting-edge, world-class machinery that is typically used for aerospace and defense.”

In any case, $10.5 billion can buy a lot of NASA-grade equipment, so we are eager to find out about the designs that will come out of Cupertino, made possible by these machines.

source: Bloomberg

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35 Comments

1. sks1969

Posts: 108; Member since: Mar 04, 2012

No wonder their designs are the same since the first iphone :)

11. superfans

Posts: 155; Member since: Jul 30, 2012

Even though it looks the same , iPhone is still the best looking smartphone out there.

13. taikucing unregistered

hello... HTC One?

15. nortoja79

Posts: 34; Member since: Feb 21, 2010

like he said....still the best looking.

17. Pancholo

Posts: 380; Member since: Feb 27, 2012

"...for me, iPhone is still the best looking smartphone out there." There - fixed your typo. But cool story, bro.

27. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

Calm down people no need to start a flame war. This is strictly for manufacturing cups and not phones.

12. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

They will probably still make the same design anyway.

14. Ninetysix

Posts: 2965; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

Porche will probably still make the same design anwyay. http://www.autotrend.com/atg/graphics/00000001/56288.jpg

16. nortoja79

Posts: 34; Member since: Feb 21, 2010

lol...that was one of the best responses ever. epic my friend.

18. Pancholo

Posts: 380; Member since: Feb 27, 2012

Your statement would be valid only if you change Porsches as often as you change smartphones.

19. EclipseGSX

Posts: 1777; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

Way to compare a $300 device to a $80k+ car. Because they are totally the same thing....

22. Ninetysix

Posts: 2965; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

Nothing wrong with my analogy broski. Why change something that is not broken?

23. saffant

Posts: 274; Member since: Jul 04, 2011

It's called innovation.

28. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

Because it is broken...chips all over, scuffs all over, scratches like no other phone, gets bent for no reason, wifi/mobile internet signal blows, now even the software is broken, etc. I mean if its so broken that it can't be fixed, I guess you can't change it. It's surprising that even idiots still pay for it.

29. Ninetysix

Posts: 2965; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

Guess which smartphone came up on top on last quarter's smartphone customer satisfaction? Come on...guess...

30. RoyalPayne

Posts: 458; Member since: Aug 07, 2013

Hahaha 96 u rock man!

32. darkkjedii

Posts: 31299; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Does it have an "I" in it?

34. taikucing unregistered

only 911 has the same design. Do 918 Hybrid & Carrera GT have the same design?

2. hossamaltarawneh

Posts: 36; Member since: Oct 18, 2013

Ibet these machines manufactured by Samsung :)

3. woodshop20

Posts: 459; Member since: Sep 14, 2013

Good equipment is useless without a good designer. Jony Ive is the most overrated product designer of the decade. I mean, who the hell makes a perfectly nice looking desktop look like a trash can? Not to mention his new Leica camera "design". And I won't even talk about IOS 7. http://www.theverge.com/2013/10/10/4824290/jony-ive-leica-camera-took-nine-months-55-engineers-to-build

4. JMartin22

Posts: 2372; Member since: Apr 30, 2013

You obviously don't have artist vision good sir! /sarcasm

5. ardent1

Posts: 2000; Member since: Apr 16, 2011

Bromides and opinions for the febble-minded. The Lecia camera is going towards charity. Some people are doing good for the world, while those without the talent are just being haters. There is a reason why Apple products are desirable -- Apple really cares about its designs and build quality. My iPhone 5S is about 4 ounces. It still amazes me Apple could put in so much technology and materials with 10 hour battery life in such a small device. My last smartphone -- the Moto Triumph -- only lasted 3.5 hours between charges. It's so nice not to carry a juice pack or constantly worrying about the phone dying.

6. gaurang

Posts: 94; Member since: Nov 16, 2012

+1...his designs are surely overhyped...

7. Sauce unregistered

So many haters who lack an artistic and classy eye.

9. darkkjedii

Posts: 31299; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

+1 sauce

8. darkkjedii

Posts: 31299; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Apples about to step their game up in a major way. Can't wait to but em...all!

10. orca99

Posts: 87; Member since: Oct 05, 2013

A big chunk of that investment is for machineries and equipment relating to the production of new material for the body parts. In addition to the traditional platic, aluminum and magnesium bodies, they have been researching for a new material for a long time.

21. darkkjedii

Posts: 31299; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

I wanna see what these new bigger, redesigned iPhones look like next year. The screen size increase isn't a need, but I'd welcome it. The tides have changed tremendously in favor of them.

24. saffant

Posts: 274; Member since: Jul 04, 2011

It's most DEFINITELY a need. But sure, they can keep the limited screen sized options for those who are still behind the curve... transition takes time. They should offer two models as a result.

25. darkkjedii

Posts: 31299; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Agreed +1

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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