MacStories points to an article from Brazilian Internet portal UOL covering comments from Brazilian Minister of Science and Technology Aolizio Mercadante revealing that Apple is ready to begin production of the iPad in Brazil. Deliveries are said to be set to begin in December. From a Google translation:
The Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Mercadante, said on Tuesday (13) that Apple plant in Jundiaí (SP) is ready to be opened and produce iPads that reach the market until December, during a hearing of the Commission Economic Affairs (CAE) of the Senate.
"At first many doubted, but it will be the first time that the company will produce iPads outside Chinese territory. We are taking a big step for digital inclusion in the country," he said.
Reports first surfaced back in April claiming that Apple's manufacturing partner Foxconn was set to invest up to $12 billion in production facilities in Brazil, offering a means to circumvent high import taxes on electronics products in the world's fifth most populous country. Initial plans had called for production to begin by November, but Foxconn had hoped to accelerate the timeline to begin production in July. That acceleration appears to have not been possible, with production plans returning to close to the original schedule.
Top Rated Comments
Don't Worry. Brazil has a good control of the rain forest in the south and the coast of the country, and Jundiai already is an industrial region. The region where we have problems to control the forest are in the Amazon and it's boundaries, that is really far from Jundiai, about 3000km.
Actually more than half of the Brazilian population is already "middle class", not to mention its very rich elite...Brazil is the 4th biggest market in the world for cars, and would be EVEN bigger were it not for the very high taxes that plague the country.
And before some person starts saying something about Brazil being the next "China sweatshop", it's important to highlight that the country has one of the highest labor costs on Earth, as well as a very extensive safety net - this is why you don't see "Made in Brazil" stickers like you do for China, Bangladesh, Poland, Romania and other low-cost places. In fact, the Brazilian labor force today is probably more expensive than the US one, notably at executive level (CEO/Director-level salaries in Brazil are the highest in the world). Comparisons with labor costs in China are, in any case, totally unwarranted since Brazilian labor is MUCH more expensive than in Asian sweatshops.
The main objective of this initiative is not simply to create jobs: it's to foster the high-tech sector and give much easier access to tablets as the next big thing in digital inclusion policies - IMPORTED electronics are very expensive in Brazil, and with local production (even if many components are still imported), the final price can fall by at least 30% in there because of tax reductions...a great achievement already.
As for Apple/Foxconn, they secure a manufacturing spot in a safe, democratic and Western powerhouse, while tapping the gigantic local market big time - the usual Brazilian mongrel dogs (those who never say anything positive about the country) may say that this is just an "assembly" factory using imported parts - fact is: access to technology is crucial for Brazil's definitive entry into the developed Western world, and the network/indirect economic benefits from having a Foxconn plant there will definitely lead to at least some degree of technology transfer and expertise.
And I assure you will NOT hear about "Chinese suicides" down there - we are far more protected and expensive than the usual Asian or even US employee.
p.s.: MR editors, PLEASE correct the name of the Brazilian Minister: it is Aloízio Mercadante..!
Or, put up trade barriers until they catch up to us...
Hopefully, for those of us living in Brazil, this will now mean iPads at reasonable prices, and I'd be deliriously happy if this factory expanded to include iPhone and maybe even some Mac assembly too.