Here's why the iPad is made in China

Here's why the iPad is made in China
There’s a couple of reasons why most major consumer electronics are manufactured in China. Yes, it’s all about economy and cutting cost as much as possible, but for some gadgets like the iPad, it’s not just about cheap labor and loose governmental regulations. Interestingly, the main reason why the iPad is made in China is... rare earth metals.

China has taken over the production of rare earth metals, and now accounts for 95% of the world’s manufacturing of such metals. That’s quite interesting as the country has only 37% of the proven resources, and is also actively protecting exports of rare earth metals, which basically makes it close to impossible to manufacture gadgets like the iPad outside China. Most recently, Nokia announced it’s moving its manufacturing from Europe and into Asia, in a move urged by those very same materials there.

So what rare earth metals exactly go into an iPad, for example? Cambridge engineering professor Dr. Tim Coombs suggests the iPad’s battery may rely on lanthanum, but there could also be a “range of rare earths” in the display of the iPad, responsible for its color reproduction. The magnets on the side of the tablet are also neodymium alloy.

Question arises whether the US does something to stop that near monopoly and there’s a positive answer. President Obama has complained to the World Trade Organization over China’s rare earths policy. But in the meantime, chances are that even more manufacturing plants will continue being built in China.

source: iFixit

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2. itiswhatitis

Posts: 423; Member since: Jan 23, 2012

i dont think obama can do anythng about that cuz China wants to be no. 1 and they will do whatever it takes to reach there!!

3. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

Yes that is a huge problem. That is why most electronics are made in China. We need to start to recycle these rare Earth metals/minerals because we are starting to run out. They say that there are huge deposits of these rare Earth metals/minerals on the Moon. That is why by 2020 we are going to go back to the Moon. We are in the early stages of planning to mine the Moon for these rare Earth metals/minerals! Without these rare Earth metals/minerals the computer/HD TV industry wouldn't be where it is right now. People don't know how much we really depend on these rare Earth metals/minerals! I am so glad had this article. It brings to light why we ARE actually in China & the problem the computer, & HD TV businesses are facing in the near future if we can’t solve this rare Earth metals/minerals problem.

4. troutsy

Posts: 382; Member since: Feb 17, 2012

Correction--On the moon they're just called Common Moon Metals?

6. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

Ok I tried to look up the term “Common Moon Metals” & I can’t find anything. All I see is rare Earth Metals/minerals. There are 17 rare Earth metals/minerals. We are really going to the Moon to mine these rare Earth metals/minerals, the term you stated I just can’t find even in Google. If you really want to be technical the rare Earth metals/minerals are really called: 1) Scandium (Sc) 2) Yttrium (Y) 3) Lanthanum (La) 4) Cerium (Ce) 5) Praseodymium (Pr) 6) Neodymium (Nd) 7) Promethium (Pm) 8) Samarium (Sm) 9) Europium (Eu) 10) Gadolinium (Gd) 11) Terbium (Tb) 12) Dysprosium (Dy) 13) Holmium (Ho) 14) Erbium (Er) 15) Thulium (Tm) 16) Ytterbium (Yb) 17) Lutetium (Lu) These are used for multiple purposes, from memory for computers, high temperature superconductors, microwaves, camera lenses, magnets, carbon arc lighting, nuclear batteries, x-ray tubes, MRI contrast agents, neutron capture, to even lasers. There are so many more but I listed just some of the more common ones if you will.

11. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

Its called a joke.

22. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

I figured that but I really got into the topic. I actually know a lot about this stuff, as you can see. lol

14. Fluxman

Posts: 51; Member since: Jun 03, 2010

21. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

^^^ lol That was great.

28. jmoita2

Posts: 930; Member since: Dec 23, 2011

IMHO,the next century will see the mining of such minerals in our only satelite the Moon,where they are as plentiful as water on Earth. These materials are non renewable,and the tens in high tech electronics is in its beginning stages. Rare Earth Minerals are to us now what spices were to Europeans in the 1400s. Here is a little bit i found on the web... "The moon is the gateway to the solar system and one of only two logical next steps for humanity, alongside Mars. Mining the moon for rare earths may not be economically viable today, but building mines in the KREEP Terrane will almost certainly be one of humanity’s future steps as we reach for the outer solar system and for the stars." Here is the link... Definitely a possibility.


Posts: 1459; Member since: Mar 09, 2010

You are really off key here this is just a small reason to be in China. The most important reason is profit due to low labor cost. Man let me tell you that NAFTA is a joke, and so is this article. China is now opening factories in South America and so is Apple. This is because labor is cheaper in SA. Before 2008 the Chinese imported labor from South America. After the fall of the US economy they sent them back rather than pay them unemployment. Now they are opening plants there to not have to bring cheap labor there and possibly have to pay unemployment if the economy falls. South America is where the Secret service got busted....President O'bama was headed there to finalize free trade NAFTA. Now Apple and other American companies can join China in opening plants in China to cut labor cost because labor there is cheap. Vietnam is another place we are now opening manufacturing to cut labor cost...wake up...damn!

27. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

Yes no one is disputing that. Cheap labor can be found anywhere. The rare Earths cannot be found everywhere, not in great abundance like in China!


Posts: 1459; Member since: Mar 09, 2010

Regardless they are there for cheap labor period...don't get it twisted. You just want a feel good Apple story. The truth is labor was the main reason for Apple and any other company to be in China! Apple is not there for rare earth benefits. They may benefit from the rare earth materials, but that is secondary or even last in their minds reason for being there period. Paying a few dollars a month and no heath care or pension benefits is very lucrative! Some people can easily be persuaded to cheer for a company that they love even if they do wrong it seems!

30. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

Dude you can't make any high end electronic devices with out the rare Earths. Cheap labor is anywhere. Why go over seas when you can go to South America for cheap labor. The reason they go to China is because the materials to make the Retina display (just an example) is most abundant & cheapest in China. What good is it to have the cheapest labor if you don't have the minerals or rare Earths to even make the products? That is why they are in China, just as the article is implies.


Posts: 1459; Member since: Mar 09, 2010

You are out of your tree if you think this is the real reason they are there. This is just a cover story to make you and any other gullible idiot feel all fuzzy and warm inside that Apple's being in China for rare earth metals, and is the main reason why Apple is there. Get your head out of your arse wake up and smell the coffee! They go where ever labor is cheap and that there are no unions, health care or pensions! This is why they are opening a plant in South America.There is no Rare Earth in South America but labor is so cheap Foxconn has a plant there and Apple, and cheap labor is their main reason for being there. Rare Earth Materials can be shipped any where ok! China will sell whom ever when ever they can for profit. They are quite the capitalist for sure, and they won't mind undermining the competition to achieve their goal. This article is called spinning positive PR to make ones business model look ethical, and clean, but the truth is they are subverted and this is just a rouge "Exports have been stable. China will continue to export, and will manage rare earths based on WTO rules." this is taken from an article printed by the BBC..... quoted by a Chinese official. Point being China export's rare earth, and there is no need to go to China to get it. Yes China tries to control exports to drive prices up. But this still is no reason to move manufacturing to China unless you want to cut labor cost! How naive some of you are....I think not....again you just want to sleep better at night when you dream of your iProduct's, and kids working in factories, and students working for free under mandatory internships, and piss poor working conditions, some dying because of hazardous chemical exposure. Now this article justifies all of these bad things and now Apple is there fighting the good fight for rare earth material! lol give me a break!

35. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

Look the way you talk makes you sound so foolish. First of all I don't like or have any Apple products. You are assuming that I own or like Apple products.Had to get that out of the way. Now cheap labor. Dude you don't get it. China SAYS if you want the rare Earth metals you NEED to work it in China. All the companies don't have a CHOICE. China is forcing them to work & build their products there. You are clueless about the whole topic. Since China has rare Earths that the WORLD is demanding, & China has t set up that only they can distribute them BUT only in China. If China didn't have the world by their balls people would NOT be going to China. Like I said there is cheap labor everywhere. The rare Earths are not. Now other countries can finally compete with China because they can now mine the rare Earth just as cheaply as China is the only reason why the US is looking elsewhere now. You are in the clouds if you really thing that cheap labor is the only reason why all major electronics, science, nuclear, & other high tech companies are in China. With out China's rare Earths you would not have the computer you use, the mobile phone or even your new iPad. If you ever saw Avatar, remember they were there for the ore, that is the same with all high tech companies, they want the rare Earths & if the could have left China they would have but since 2001 China would force them to work there with the rare Earth but now there are some choices. You will see how fast they leave China once they have the RARE EARTHS. The target of all countries & NOT cheap labor.


Posts: 1459; Member since: Mar 09, 2010

I never assumed you had any Apple products, it is you who assumed that I did! I never mentioned it either However; I did mention that you are cheer leading Apple like a sissy girl. You can put your pom pom's down ok. When I stated that you dream of I products I was merely referring to your cozy slumbering thoughts about products that Apple makes whether you own them or not is irrelevant to how you are cheer leading them. I think Apple makes revolutionary products on the back of cheap labor period. The last labor analysis they had proves this! Now this is just a P.R. spin for you and some "iFans" to feel good about how its achieved. Does this diminish my thoughts of how Apple has changed PCS and computing ....."Hell " no! I am not trying to demonize them, but it is what it is. Being that China exports rare earth material there is no reason to be there except free, and cheap labor. Rare earth is just a bonus. Now your childish arse wants to compare Avatar to this situation, and all I can say about that is the people in Avatar, and China both got it handed to them for greedy ambitions for a few. Get your head out of your arse cheap labor is the main reason we are in China, and you are foolish to believe other wise. Why am I having this conversation with an idiot like you who assumed that I was a kid on my mom's computer when you are the one showing your self to be the real ignorant child. Believe what you want but I can prove you wrong every step of the way. The fact that China "EXPORTS" these rare metals proves this fact, you are just too foolish, and ignorant to acknowledge this. China exports rare earth material, but the problem has been that they cut exports to drive prices up. That's it that's all there is to it. You can get rare earths without going to China.  The End!

37. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

Dude I respect professionals over you. The Wallstreet Journal, Time Magazine, Newsweek, the NY Times all say that we are in China for the rare Earths. These people are pro's they know what they are talking about. If China was exporting these rare Earths like you say then all major science, electronic, & nuclear would not be in China. There is cheaper labor out there. So you need to stop thinking about pom poms & see the truth. The rare Earths are the goal of why we are in China. When the next country figures out how to get the rare Earths cheaper & faster we will dump China & go there. They don't make money with the cheap labor they make money off of the rare Earths. Man this is just so silly that you don't get it. This article said it & there are many others that know this. I have been posting on for ever & never have I cheered Apple. So your demented cheer leading comment is just baseless & stupid. You have no idea yet you talk so much sh*t. Now its THE END.


Posts: 1459; Member since: Mar 09, 2010

The media will always print self serving propaganda. The fact that these rare earth minerals can be "EXPORTED" negates any bull s**t that they print. Just because they put it in print doesn't mean it's true. Look at NY Times author A.R Sorkin's movie Too Big To Fail, and then watch the documentary The Inside Job and decide about self serving media! A few weeks ago CBS I think did a report on Foxconn and Apples employment relationship. The reporter said employees were mistreated and over worked, and then seem to recant the story. Three weeks later Phone Arena and other media agencies including the world labor organization stated that Foxconn, and Apple had over worked employees, and made many work over time for free. As for you quoting me as saying China is exporting is off key yet again. I posted a quote that was printed mentioning that China is in fact exporting rare earth. I track the stock market daily and can tell you its all about profits. China curbed their exports to drive up prices. You are are as ignorant as you sound by posting the different types of rare earths that China has making some think you are a genius when in fact you are not. You saying they don't make money through cheap labor shows just how ignorant you truly are. " I bet you are just some snot nosed kid using his grandma's computer to make yourself seem bigger than you really are!" Since you have an affinity for trusting news media Check the Forbes article on China "EXPORT" restrictions below, as well as The Washington Post, and other news media articles. "A new trade dispute is brewing over China's export of rare earth minerals." courtesy NPR News "Beijing has set quotas for exports of rare earths, which are critical to the manufacture of high-tech products from hybrid cars to flat-screen TVs." BBC le/2010/12/28/AR2010122804960.html Washington post article "Over the past 30 years, the United States and the rest of the world have become dependent on imports, many from China, for 19 key minerals. These so-called “rare earth” minerals are used in the integrated circuits found in most computers and smartphones, as well as stereo equipment, radar technologies and missile guidance systems." Forbes I could go on about the "EXPORT" restrictions that China has made but for what. You are too damn ignorant to comprehend the facts as they are. I have posted plenty of facts to substantiate what I am saying, a yet you have not and quote bullshit columns on the need for rare earths. Yes there is a need, and yes China has them, but There is no need to relocate jobs and manufacturing to China for rare earth.Again post any article that suggest that you have to move to China to acquire rare earth metals or shut up little boy! Who cares how long you have been on this site you are cheering Apple in this article based on misleading information wake up fool!


Posts: 1459; Member since: Mar 09, 2010

Phone Arena just printed an article about a blogger that slighted Google for pay from two of Google's competitor's. Any one wanting to spin a positive PR light can print what ever they like about a company. People trust the media to print the truth, but true journalism died with the coming of multi-million dollar ad campaigns. Also if a journalist is biased towards a company or product it's get's favored reviews regardless of the function...Look at Ray S One X review that almost turned into a One X vs Apple. Then look at the unbiased Apple VS One X review later....enough said on the media as the gospel.

41. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

Look these are respected media outlets I told you about. They are not the National Enquirer. I totally respect their opinion over yours.


Posts: 1459; Member since: Mar 09, 2010

"Beijing's tough defense of its rare-earths export quotas is expected to escalate trade disputes over the minerals and spur mining investments—although China has strengths in the industry that are potentially long-lasting." This quote is Courtesy of The Wall Street Journal you media source of choice

44. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

You are kidding right? Do you even know what that means? lol You are a funny, funny guy!

42. miles16852

Posts: 241; Member since: Oct 20, 2011

you REALLY need a reality check !I guess just because the article says it, you totally think its 100% accurate! lol

45. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

Ok let me guess this is some huge conspiracy the media has come up with. is in with the Wall Street Journal, Time, Newsweek & CNN. C'mon man how can all of them be wrong & QWIKSTRIKE be right? Looks like you are in need of a reality check my man. Remember cheap labor is everywhere, China only exports their rare Earths to places they choose not where the companies want them. China controls every aspect of the rare Earths distribution. Fact is fact!

5. darktranquillity

Posts: 285; Member since: Feb 28, 2012

You don have to go read all these. Cheap labour, you can make them work 24*7 for pennies and the Peoples Democracy wont give a crap about it. Simple as that.

7. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

You can get cheap labor anywhere. You can't get these rare Earth metals/minerals anywhere but China. That is the real and only reason electronics are made in China. It just happens to also have cheap labor all at the same time. If these rare Earth metals/minerals were more abundant we would not be feeding a communist country with money. We most definitely would be elsewhere that is not communist. Say India for example or maybe Brazil, it’s just that these elements are almost 100% exclusive to China!

43. miles16852

Posts: 241; Member since: Oct 20, 2011

BULL! you CANNOT get cheap labor just ANYWHERE! Please come back to earth and stop your moon minning for rare moon metals!

46. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

Are you stupid, you can go to Africa, South America, there are so many places they can go. They only reason we are in China is because of the laws China has set up & their huge reserves of the rare Earths. China is making money on the rare Earths & the factories they are opening to refine & manufacture. Guy you have no idea what you are talking about. China is communist they CONTROL EVERYTHING. That is how communism works. Educate yourself!

48. juneminuse

Posts: 6; Member since: Apr 24, 2012

You can't get the type of cheap labor in CHINA that you can elsewhere when this all started. China not only had the population for the labor demand they also had the level of education required for the level of work that are required of them. Try to go to Africa and find cheap labor that consists of people with higher than 80 IQ, good luck... the fact is we were there for cheap labor in the first place, long before iPads or apple or consumer electronics. Apple is a company that cares about profit and TRUST me and EVERYONE ELSE that is posting on your article that CHEAP LABOR is the MAIN REASON apple outsources to FOXCONN. =]

50. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

You are 100% wrong. By you assuming that these Chinese workers have an IQ higher than 80 makes you completely delusional. The people that are working at these Foxconn factories you are talking about at the lowest of the low in Chinese society. Anyone with a half way decent education ARE NOT working at Foxxconn. You my friend are 100% wrong. China has too many people to take care of because they are the most populous country. Their best they use anyone else has to do the crummy jobs like Foxconn for instance. The rare Earths are the only reason we are there. China only exports to places they deem fit & can control. China is communist & wants TOTAL control of every aspect of the rare Earths business. Cheap labor is elsewhere. To install the same piece in an assembly line 3000 or more times a day can be done with the dumbest non educated persons in the world. China is not the only country full of cheap labor, there is cheaper out there believe it or not.

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