Apple’s iPad is dominating the gadget buzz this winter, but a few years ago, we and others made a big deal about the “polyglot” iPod, turning it into a talisman of the globalized supply-chain. The point was to accent the global context in which U.S. prosperity must be maintained. Then we managed to find a mildly affirmative story of Apple’s superior ability to capture value by creatively managing seven suppliers located in four different nations with manufacturing dispersed across five different countries.
That was then, though. More salient today as an insight into America’s standing in a globalized production system may be the backstory of another consumer electronics sensation–Amazon’s Kindle e-reader–yet here the story has a darker hue.
The U.S. Can’t Manufacture the Kindle and That’s a Problem
Source: Willy Shih, Harvard Business Review, October 13, 2009