Warmer weather in Australia and Siberia helped make last month the hottest April on record, tying levels last seen in 2010. Climate change may be putting landmarks like the Statue of Liberty at risk.
After the army declared martial law, on the streets of Bangkok, it's mostly soldiers and selfies.
How much would an iPhone cost if it were entirely made in the U.S.?
At the moment, the iPhone 5 costs between $650 - $850 retail.
iPhones are mostly manufactured and assembled in China, famously by the company Foxconn. And Apple pays around $5 per iPhone for labor.
"It largely costs more for people to manufacture products in the U.S. because of higher labor costs," says Carl Howe, Vice President of data sciences at the Yankee Group. "Labor costs here are somewhere in the vicinity of two to three times what they’re going to be in China."
Now our iPhone (the cheapest model) will cost $660, but labor’s not the most significant financial advantage to manufacturing the iPhone in China, where Apple has been able to create enormous iPhone-assembling villages.
"They have these special regions, like Shenzhen, which is an industrial region," explains Rene Ritchie, editor-in-chief of iMore, a publication about Apple products. "Anything you need is just a couple of buildings away, and the ability to keep everything so close together has incredible logistic advantages for Apple."
Ritchie says it would be almost impossible to re-create that in the U.S., which would mean longer assembly times, less efficient assembly and lots of micro-shipments.
"It’s an incredibly complicated process to build one of these devices and you’d have to move that entire culture of production to the U.S. in order for it to work," says Ritchie.
And then there are the parts themselves…
"For almost every component that goes into the device, there may be as many as two or three sources," says Andrew Rassweilier, Senior Director of Materials and Cost Benchmarking at IHS technology. "Then if you were to dig down another layer into some of the components, such as the display, the touch screen, the batteries. Those are also assemblies that are comprised of multiple components coming from, potentially, multiple counties."
IHS broke down the cost of the iPhone’s components and found they add up to around $190 per phone.
The most expensive part of the phone is the display, which costs about $40. Making the display in the U.S. would roughly triple its cost, according to Rassweilier. That alone would add around $80 to the price of the iPhone
That brings our iPhone to $740.
Rassweiler says making all of the iPhone’s parts in the U.S. would push the price of the iPhone’s components from $190 to around $600.
"If the materials alone are costing $600," says Rassweilier, "it stands to reason, that same iPhone could cost, perhaps, $2,000 at retail."
That's right. $2,000 for an iPhone.
And it wouldn’t even earn political goodwill from most of its customers.
The U.S. only brings in 6 percent of profits from iPhone sales, according to "Inequality for All".
"Two out of three Apple customers aren’t in the USA anymore," says the Yankee Group’s Carl Howe. "That’s quite a change from many years ago when most of Apple’s customers were in the US."
It’s just as well, says Howe. Even with overseas cost efficiencies, the iPhone is one of the costliest phones on the market.
Two years ago, Marketplace's Shanghai Bureau Chief Rob Schmitz was only the second reporter ever to gain access to visit the factory floor at Foxconn. He took a tour of the assembly line and the Foxconn campus to see what living and working conditions were like for the hundreds of thousands of workers there:
A deal leading from Silicon Valley to Silicon Alley: Google is buying New York-based enterprise software company Divide for an undisclosed sum. Divide provides mobile device management technology—tools to keep business data separate and secure on smartphones and tablets. The company also provides productivity tools for people to work and collaborate on mobile devices.
The move is designed to drive more business for Google’s Android devices among companies concerned about security.
Increasingly, people use their mobile devices for work and personal life interchangeably. Many employees are expected to access work data when they're at home or on the road, and people want to be able to use the mobile device of their choice, one which also holds personal email, photos, games and the like.
“If you download a tic-tac-toe game off the Google playstore,” says Tyler Shields, a mobile-security expert at Forrester Research, and it’s loaded with malware, “once you run it on your phone, it could grab all your contacts or all your calendars.” Shields says that might include some of your employer’s contacts and calendars, or confidential information like blueprints or business plans that you’ve been working on.
Technology analyst Crawford Del Prete at research firm IDC says of the acquisition of Divide: “This move by Google is to say: ‘We are hardening the Android experience. We are going to give you more control as an enterprise, to have a secure container and a secure place for your corporate data.’”
Del Prete says Google is wise to make this move, because there’s a perception in the marketplace—among IT professionals, business managers, and consumers—that competing devices and apps from Apple are more secure and less easily hacked.
The ruling comes a day after another federal judge ruled Oregon's ban on gay marriage violated the constitution. Pennsylvania passed the constitutional amendment banning gay marriage in 1996.
Did a band from Los Angeles get ripped off by Led Zeppelin? That's the claim made in a new lawsuit by representatives of the band Spirit, which played some dates with the British rock legends.
The move comes two months after a National Labor Relations Board ruling that athletes at Northwestern University are school employees and therefore are entitled to form a union.
From the Marketplace Datebook, here’s a look at what’s coming up Wednesday, May 21:
In Washington, the United States Senate Committee on Finance Subcommittee on Social Security, Pensions, and Family Policy will hold a hearing about Strengthening Social Security to Meet the Needs of Tomorrow’s Retirees.
President Obama will welcome the Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks to the White House to honor the team and their Super Bowl XLVIII victory.
Brought to you by the letters U - S and O. Sesame Street’s Elmo and Friends will roll onto Capitol Hill in their Sesame Street/USO tour bus to attend the bi-annual USO Service Project event.
Thinking about a dinner date? Keep in mind that it’s National Wait Staff Day! Win over your server and your date with a large tip!