iPad: The ironies of globalization

It is common knowledge that Apple’s iPad is designed in the US and made in China. All the parts are procured from several vendors across China and Taiwan. Foxconn makes the iPads for Apple. There could be other manufacturers but Foxconn is the biggest one we know of. The newly minted iPads are sealed and shipped to the US, the place where technology revelations are worshipped.

From the time the iPads are shipped to Apple’s announcement of the device it is mayhem. Who will carry what kind of stock? What service provider will bundle up? And so on. The bigger question lingering among wannabe iPad buyers is: Where can I get one? When should I start? There are stories of people waiting in blistering cold to get their hands on the device. There are stories of paying $900 for a spot to get into the store first.

In a recent news story by the New York Post, someone called undercover buyers are doing the whole thing reverse. The supply chain is reversed for iPad 2. As per the story, iPad is bought by several folks from a store in New York area, a person in a BMW will collect all the stuff, pay $100 extra on each piece, ship it to Hong Kong. The demand in Hong Kong is huge and people will pay three times the original price. The profit margin is healthy, just like what Apple is getting out of the iPads. Three things are at work here: crowdsourcing, demand-supply mismatch, and a parallel supply chain.

Isn’t it easier to ship some iPads to Hong Kong from China, instead of going through all the hoops? The solution people are looking at right now is somehow get the Asian community in the US to stop doing this. Well how about having a global launch so that these things won’t happen?

Source : NY Post