Apple Has Relied More on China-Based Engineers During Pandemic

Apple engineers in China have taken on greater responsibilities during the COVID-19 pandemic, as travel restrictions and lockdowns have prevented Apple from sending as many U.S. engineers to the country as it normally would, according to The Wall Street Journal.

apple china iphone factory
While key matters like product design are still handled at Apple's headquarters in California, the report claims that Apple has gradually given its China-based engineers more authority to resolve problems, with less input from U.S. employees.

For instance, instead of sending product- and assembly-related information from China to Cupertino for a decision, engineers in China would also include their analysis. And China-based engineers who in the past generally would have reported problems to Cupertino would instead send proposals for resolving the problem, the people said.

The report adds that Apple has used video calling to remotely communicate with Chinese employees to resolve factory issues and more, in an effort to keep pace with its annual product cycles, including new iPhone models each year.

China has imposed strict restrictions and/or lockdowns in cities like Shanghai, Beijing, and Zhengzhou in recent weeks. Last month, Apple warned that its June quarter revenue would be impacted by a number of factors, including supply constraints caused by COVID-related disruptions and industrywide silicon shortages. Apple said it expected those constraints to result in a $4 billion to $8 billion impact on revenue for the quarter.

The disruptions have resulted in lengthy shipping estimates for several Apple products, such as the MacBook Pro, iPad Pro, and more.

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Top Rated Comments

ouimetnick Avatar
14 months ago
So basically cosmetically designed by Apple in California, engineered and assembled in China?
Score: 42 Votes (Like | Disagree)
fenderbass146 Avatar
14 months ago
How about they gtfo of China. Apple is all about virtue signaling when it comes to some issues, but when it comes to the genocide and issues in China they won't do **** because it hurts there bottom line. Same for most of corporate America. Get it out of China to other places and slowly start bringing some back to the West even if it costs some margin or higher prices.
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Nicole1980 Avatar
14 months ago
Still shaking my head. Using a lockdown to try to prevent a virus from spreading. Good luck with that. And even if they succeed in keeping people from getting the current virus, guess what - they'll be the biggest population in the world subject to the most severe symptoms once another variant rolls along.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BWhaler Avatar
14 months ago

Still shaking my head. Using a lockdown to try to prevent a virus from spreading. Good luck with that. And even if they succeed in keeping people from getting the current virus, guess what - they'll be the biggest population in the world subject to the most severe symptoms once another variant rolls along.
Let me guess. You didn’t go to med school.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BWhaler Avatar
14 months ago
I wonder how Apple is protecting their trade secrets.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
VaruLV Avatar
14 months ago
So, basically, as mentioned before, designed by Apple in USA, engineered by your friendly commie China.
And all just to have some more extra dollars of profit.
I guess soon there might be no difference between Xiaomi, who copies iPhone and Apple, since both might be handled by the same teams of engineers. Then Apple will tell us that its still top quality and made by best engineers for best user experience and quality, year, right, heard that before by many other companies...
Yeah, I know, Im exaggerating, but still, this is far from normal being so overly reliant on China in all aspects, including cashing in on unknowing customers who still pay top $$$ just to get "American" stuff which might turn into something other companies have been doing for years where brand X makes desing and lets its OEM manufacturer do the rest, including technical engineering and testing.
All this in the light of rumors about possible iPhone Pro 14 prices rising yet another 100$ is just, well, unpleasant news.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)