Although Donald Trump is technically not the President yet, he is already shaking up the tech market in the U.S. During his campaign, he pledged to make America great again. And, he planned on doing it by bringing the iPhone 8 and the iPad Pro manufacturing stateside.
In line with this, Trump is proposing to slap China imports with a whopping 45 percent tariff. Because of this, economists and market watchers fear that this may see a considerable increase in prices for next year?s iPhone 8.
The current iPhone 7 starts at around $650 for the 32GB model. With the 45 percent tariff, the same iPhone will be priced at something close to $950. For a regular tech consumer, this is too much. An entry level smartphone that costs as much as a gaming PC will find no market in this economy.
That being said, it has been reported recently that Apple discussed the option of bringing manufacturing to the U.S. According to the said reports, Apple has asked Pegatron and Foxconn to investigate the possibility of manufacturing stateside.
Unfortunately, the plan does not sit well with Foxconn although reports also say that the company is still investigating it under Apple?s behest. Nevertheless, if the Trump administration does impose a hefty tax on China imports, Apple may be forced to bring manufacturing to the U.S. If the cost of import will greatly affect the end price of its products, it may very well have the manufacturing done locally.
As good as it may sound for the U.S. economy, it is still easier said than done.
For Apple to be able to manufacture its products locally, it will need a fairly wide base of parts suppliers. As it stands, the U.S. does not have very much to offer when it comes to products like ARM processors and LCD and OLED displays. To this point, most if not all of semiconductor foundries are located in Asia. Moving the chip production to the U.S. will entail a great amount of investment from companies like TSMC and Samsung.
To date, Apple has started bringing some of its products back in the U.S. like the Mac Pro. However, bringing the production of iPhones and iPads back home will need a fair bit of planning and forethought. Nonetheless, if Trump does pursue his ?Make America Great Again? salvo, consumers will be hit with products that are just too expensive to begin with.
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