BA181 Assignment 3 IPhone Supply Chain

IPhone Supply Chain


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IPhone Supply Chain

Supply chain is the network where everyone involved in creating and selling of a product and all the activities in between. From the delivery of raw materials to the manufacturer from the suppliers, through to its delivery to the consumer. This network may involve resources, technology, organizations, activities and individuals. According to (Poirier, 1999), businesses can very much attain competitive advantage over their competitors by the proper formulation and use of a well-structured supply chain system. He says that every firms try to design a supply chain network that works for their good, in terms of cost and other factors, especially factors that increase profitability of the business.

One of the organizations that has taken advantage of a comprehensive supply chain is apple. The manufacturer of the iPhone has a well laid down structure of their product iPhone, from the collection of the raw materials to the point where the consumers get to buy the product. It is an important process for them, since as many businesses, supply chain has become the main artery of the apple business.

Having its headquarters in the U.S, all the designing and development of the iPhone and other apple products is done in the United States. This is done in the headquarters, where there is a team of software programmers and engineers, who do the paperwork and come up with a product on paper. After this, the ideas are transported to China, where apple has contracted a number of firms to do the manufacturing job for them. One of the major suppliers of apple is Foxcomm, which does the Iphones for them and many other electronics companies. Apple has managed to achieve a competitive advantage through this, in terms of the cost. It is cheaper to manufacture in China than in the U.S.A, and the taxes are also higher in the U.S. They draw a pool of labor however from many countries, with the Americas forming the majority of the employees of apple, with China, Asia and Europe providing a pool of employees for apple. From there, apple will distribute its products to its suppliers worldwide. Apple’s supplies is made possible by having over 700 main suppliers worldwide, who operate as per apple’s guidelines and standards. The phones are shipped by air or by sea from the assembly points to their retailers, who pick up from there. One of their warehouses in the USA is in Cupertino, CA where the products are transported by road, through trucks to the different retailers who are found around that area. For far locations, the company may choose other efficient means of transportation like air to get the product to the retailers. In other markets outside of the U.S, the product is shipped so that the iPhone may serve the markets in Europe, Asia, South America, Africa and other parts of the world. This has been over the years the success story of apple Incorporated. The supply chain is so elaborate and has a clear framework that makes sure the product has gotten to its customers in time.


Poirier, C. (1999). Advanced supply chain management how to build a sustained competitive

advantage. San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Kochler.

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