The World in the iPod

The iPod, one of Apple's most successful products is not "made" by Apple at all. Apple designed the product, but the components are assembled in China by two Taiwanese firms. This article takes a broad view of PortalPlayer, the company that developed the essential iPod microchip, examining the pattern of globalization and outsourcing in the technology industry. The PortalPlayer story raises an important question: Has the outsourcing of jobs and high-tech expertise wounded Silicon Valley in particular and the US economy in general? Supporters of outsourcing offer a vision of a "golden triangle," a model of globalization in which each country contributes what it does best – low-cost development in India, manufacturing in China, high-level design in the US – and everyone involved profits equally. Critics argue, however, that this is an overly optimistic perspective. – YaleGlobal

The World in the iPod

Andrew Leonard
Wednesday, June 8, 2005

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Andrew Leonard is a staff writer at Salon.

Copyright 2005