Waiting for the iPhone

As someone who is more excited than ever to send a message to Redmond telling them to bugger off forever -- in addition to my now infamous Vista woes, I have come to despise the Windows CE interface on my T-Mobile Dash not-so-smart-phone which has developed the habit of crashing when I'm sending an email and a call comes in -- I can't tell you how excited I am to eventually get my hands on the new iPhone. However, I'm not holding my breath to get one soon after the late June launch given that it's against my sourcing religion to pay more than retail to jump ahead on a waiting list for it.

Still, I'm betting that my future trusty handset is winding its way through what would appear at first glance to be a very complex supply chain. According to one blogger who examined the subject, "one Apple iPhone, material comes from 3 countries, traveling to China to be assembled, inventoried, and then fulfilled to retailers and to customers via purchases from the Apple Store ... If I am correct in any of my research and assertions above, it’s easy to see that if there is any disruption in material flow of any supplier into the Apple Shenzhen, China facility, then production either slows or halts altogether ... Again, if I am correct in my research and assertions in this article, Taiwan supplies 6 of the 10 parts that comprise the Apple iPhone. This can be viewed as a strategic approach by Apple, concentrating sourcing the majority of the parts from one country, or this could be seen as a bottleneck or constraint -- a potential risk.”

If this analysis is correct, it looks as if Apple might be putting all of its supply chain eggs together in one basket – or at least one regional basket, that is. After all, they did the same thing with key components for the iPod, too. Still, I'll forgive them even if I'm waiting until late summer for my iPhone if it proves to be everything that I am expecting.

Jason Busch

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