Where was your iPod born?

It has been almost seven years since the iPod made its market debut, and since then, its popularity and innovation have made it a staple of the new millennium. Apple has relied on its marketing to drive the iPod past the competition. The ability to store vast amounts of music on a small portable device changed the way people bought music, and the manufacturing behind it displays the global input possible in one product. But who really makes the iPod? “I have no idea,” junior Stephanie Holtman said. Three researchers from the University of California in Irvine tried to answer this question by using a report by Portelligent, a technology analysis organization. They traced the origin of all the parts of an iPod, and it turns out that Apple doesn’t actually make the iPod. Instead, it is manufactured by outsourcing the job to a few Asian companies, including Asustek, Inventec Appliances and Foxconn. However, these companies only do the final assembly. The iPod presents a good example of how products are being made today. The company no longer manufactures its own product, but employs other companies to undertake the assembly. The majority of manufacturing in the U.S. and overseas is done in China. Trade between the U.S and China has grown dramatically in recent years, and has led to China becoming the second largest trading partner of the U.S., behind Canada. However, with the sale of an iPod Video, the factory makes only $4, while the packagers in California make $80, the largest share. This is key point in the relations between the United States and Asia: the availability of cheap labor. “They’re justified. They are trying to keep prices down,” junior Monica Dreasher said. Therefore, the 451 parts in an iPod isn’t what makes it cost $299. The major cost of putting an iPod together is not in the construction, but the marketing and design. Apple is able to make people want the iPod, and that is where the money is made.