How much would it cost to build the iPhone in the US? MIT has the answer..

How much would it cost to build the iPhone in the US? MIT has the answer..
Apple has been lambasted that it doesn't build its gear in the United States, instead of China, but it embarked on a real "Made in America" campaign with the Mac Pro in 2013, and not only as a token gesture, as the investment was worth $100 million. 

Apple's bread-and-butter product, however, the iPhone, is still largely manufactured in China, and a team from MIT experts ran the numbers to gauge exactly how much extra it would cost to produce it here at home. It took the $749 iPhone 6s Plus as a baseline, and ran two scenarios - with only assembly moved to the US, and both components and assembly done here to the extent possible.

Long story short - even if Apple moves its most important part makers - which are now concentrated in China, Japan, and Taiwan - to the US, that will still leave more than half of its 766 total suppliers abroad. Moving those, however, as well as sourcing as much of the 73 periodic elements that go into an iPhone locally as possible, would raise the price of an iPhone by about $100, MIT estimates. 

Of course, there are no bauxite mines in the US, so Apple would still have to rely on China for an aluminum iPhone, unless it changes the exterior completely, too. The other uninspiring part of this calculation exercise? Well, even if Apple charges $850 for an iPhone 6s Plus that is (mostly) made in the US, with today's labor automation standards, that will still create very, very few new jobs, estimate the researchers, and that's the whole point of such a move, after all.

source: MIT



1. An.Awesome.Guy

Posts: 636; Member since: Jan 12, 2015

Like most other things, if this will happen then it should happen slowly.

10. sgodsell

Posts: 7365; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

There is 330,000 metric tons of aluminum mined and produced in North America every year. So maybe Daniel should do some research first. Although China is the largest producer with 2,500,000 metric ton of aluminum. Still how many tons of aluminum would you need to make the tiny thin aluminum shells for 70 million iPhones? I would put less than 2,000 metric tons of aluminum is needed. The average pop can is around 15 grams of aluminum. So we will need to beef up the aluminum to around 20 grams for the shell needed on the iPhone. So now if you take 1 metric ton you will get 50,000 20gram chuncks of aluminum needed from 1 ton. So you need 1400 metric tons in order to produce 70 million iphone shells.


Posts: 1168; Member since: Oct 05, 2015

The estimate for the weight of the iPhone she'll is a tad low. I would estimate about 45-60 grams per shell. If this is the case, Apple should still bring as much of their business here are as possible. Even if a lot of jobs aren't created, so what. Apple really wants to avoid taxes. The law needs to be changed to get companies that do this.

20. aBoss

Posts: 164; Member since: Sep 15, 2014

Apple makes hundreds of dollars profit per phone. Just lower the profit and move to the USA and stop doing it in China with suicide nets around the buildings

22. An.Awesome.Guy

Posts: 636; Member since: Jan 12, 2015

Thank you for calculating that and giving this info. I think even universities and research studies do mistakes.

2. legiloca

Posts: 1676; Member since: Nov 11, 2014

here it goes....... F A S C I N A T I N G.

3. jeevanand88 unregistered

750$ is already too much even by using the lowest possible resources to manufacture an iphone!! In this case, well i don't need a fuking iPhone!!! Android is strongly marching towards the quality of apple iOS!!

5. legiloca

Posts: 1676; Member since: Nov 11, 2014

ummm... They're only talking about how much the iPhone's build cost is and NOT how the OS is doing.

12. jeevanand88 unregistered

750$ also includes the resource required to develop iOS! Android is already taken over apple interms of the build quality an yr ago...!! rest is only OS!! that's y i mentioned about the OS...!

14. legiloca

Posts: 1676; Member since: Nov 11, 2014

I regret talking to an idiot.. You're like the Android fanboy version of BobbyBuster on steroids

15. Pattyface

Posts: 1658; Member since: Aug 20, 2014

Agreed.. if speaking on hardware alone apple still makes great hardware regardless of design.. anyone to say otherwise is an idiot.

21. jeevanand88 unregistered

typical kid cries when not able to make a valid point here!! And im not a android fan boy.. I use iphone 6s as my primary mobile...!! Go cry somewr else!!

23. legiloca

Posts: 1676; Member since: Nov 11, 2014

Well both of us do use an iPhone! Why are you crying that it's f**king too expensive and wawawaa when stupid idiot you still bought one??!

24. jeevanand88 unregistered

If its not too expensive for u, just shut and sit!! I cant beleive that im replying to a brainless kid's cry!! Smash ur head to a wall and check if u have those things in ur head!! Period.

4. Tuxedo

Posts: 356; Member since: Mar 19, 2013

Please fix: "by about $100" not "with about $100". FWIW, 13% more seems low to me; I was expecting to be more than that.

8. nctx77

Posts: 2540; Member since: Sep 03, 2013

The Apple thirst is real!

9. Ezio2710

Posts: 548; Member since: Aug 22, 2015

You are saying Apple is not GREEDY

11. Darkkracker

Posts: 255; Member since: Jun 11, 2016

I believe with the cellphone cycle switching to every three years then and extra $150 or so could be absorbed by apple and consumer. There are a few advantages to making them here in the USA logistics would cost less and tax incentives in states that are business friendly word also help reduce costs.

16. newuser1

Posts: 276; Member since: Dec 10, 2010

can't believe a phone is this much complicated. if all parts made in America, phone assembled, the phone will down a bit? What about shipping cost? They save a small portion of labor cost, it still cost a lot to ship the phones from china than shipped locallly in America.

19. FBIsurveilance

Posts: 43; Member since: Aug 10, 2014

The materials will still need to be shipped. Not all of them could be produced in America, and seeing that how big the country is, the cost could be greater if stuffs were delivered with trucks to a factory and then back out again.

17. TheOracle1

Posts: 2260; Member since: May 04, 2015

The title should read "How much would Apple CHARGE for a US built iPhone". It's basically common knowledge that it COSTS Apple about $270 to build one.

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