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苹果将30%的iPhone生产转出中国?有位分析师认为不可行

Don Resinger 2019年06月24日

这位分析师认为,即使苹果真会转移生产,规模也会很小。

苹果公司正在考虑将相当大一部分的iPhone生产业务转出中国,以规避特朗普政府可能对进口商品加征的关税。但一位分析师认为,即使苹果真会转移生产,规模也会很小。

《日经亚洲评论》上周三报道称,据匿名消息人士透露,苹果已经要求各大供应商评估将30%的iPhone生产转出中国的可行性。报道称,苹果尚未设定最后期限,但担心美国可能对价值3000亿美元的中国制造商品加征关税,从而拉升iPhone的制造成本。根据报道,苹果也可能决定只将15%的iPhone生产转出中国。

“无论3000亿美元加征关税会不会走到最后一轮,苹果都会跟上(生产地多元化)的大趋势。” 一位未具名的消息人士向《日经亚洲评论》透露,暗示即使特朗普政府不加征关税,苹果也有可能决定转移。

但Wedbush的分析师丹·艾夫斯则有不同看法。在上周三发给投资者的报告中,艾夫斯质疑了苹果可能很快将30%的iPhone生产转出中国的说法。他说道,更有可能发生的情况是,苹果短期内只能将一小部分iPhone生产业务转移出中国。

“我们认为,现实情况是未来12到18个月里苹果最多也只能将5%到7%的iPhone生产转移到印度。”艾夫斯向投资者说道。“在我们看来,将15%的iPhone生产从中国转移到其他地区(印度和越南是首选)至少需要两三年时间。”

艾夫斯补充道,苹果的供应链非常复杂,而且对盈利十分重要,如果过于仓促地将大量iPhone生产转出中国,可能导致供应链出现问题,甚至会推升苹果的制造成本。

风投公司556 Ventures的分析师比尔·何在接受《财富》杂志采访时表示,苹果正在向负责实际生产的供应商全面了解情况,寻找可行的做法。但他警告称,说到底苹果还是得自己做最终的政治考量。

比尔·何表示,如果苹果留在中国,“成本就会变高”,但如果离开中国这个关键市场,苹果则将面临政治风险,还会激怒消费者,可能被迫想办法“克服成本上升”的压力。

尽管压力巨大,苹果确已试着iPhone生产转移到其他国家。过去两年,代工厂商纬创一直在印度生产低价iPhone SE机型。另据印度媒体报道,在最大代工厂商富士康的帮助下,今年晚些时候苹果将开始在印度生产iPhone X。

据《日经亚洲评论》报道,苹果可能将把部分iPhone生产从中国转移到印度。消息人士补充称,苹果还可能考虑在墨西哥、印度尼西亚和越南等地生产iPhone。目前还不清楚苹果如此选择的原因,不过相关国家都有相对熟练的廉价劳动力。

“每个国家都各有优点。而且不管在哪个国家,苹果首要考虑的还是成本问题。”比尔·何向《财富》杂志说道。“此外,需要考虑的也不只是劳动力成本,还包括人才储备和政治稳定性,以及苹果及其供应商在当地长期从事制造业务的益处。”

不过,艾夫斯还是不同意。他认为,中国市场对苹果iPhone来说太重要,智能手机生产方面不会做出重大转变。喜不喜欢都好,苹果可能别无选择,只能留在中国。

“苹果‘孤注一掷’地在中国旗舰工厂上押注,目前生产了全球绝大多数iPhone,对库比蒂诺生态系统来说重要性堪比人类的心肺。”艾夫斯说道。库比蒂诺是苹果公司的总部所在地。(财富中文网)

译者:艾伦

审校:夏林

Apple is considering moving a substantial portion of its iPhone production from China to avoid any additional import tariffs imposed by the Trump Administration. But one analyst believes any shift in manufacturing would be much smaller.

On last Wednesday, the Nikkei Asian Review cited unidentified sources who said Apple has asked its top suppliers to evaluate moving up to 30% of iPhone production out of China. Apple hasn’t placed a deadline on the proposals, according to the report, but is concerned that a possible $300 billion U.S. tariff against China-made goods would drive iPhone manufacturing costs higher. Apple could decide to transfer as little as 15% of its iPhone production out of China, according to the report.

“With or without the final round of the $300 billion tariff, Apple is following the big trend [to diversify production],” one unidentified source told the Nikkei Asian Review, suggesting Apple could still decide to move production even if the tariffs aren’t levied.

But Wedbush analyst Dan Ives sees it differently. In a note to investors on last Wednesday, Ives cast doubt that Apple could move up to 30% of its iPhone production from China anytime soon. He said it’s more likely Apple would only be able to move a small portion of its China-based iPhone production in the near future.

“We believe realistically in a best case scenario Apple would be able to move 5%-7% of its iPhone production likely to India in the next 12 to 18 months,” Ives told investors. “Moving 15% of its iPhone production from China to other regions (India and Vietnam would be top candidates) would take at least 2-3 years in our opinion.”

Ives added that Apple’s supply chain is so sophisticated and important to the company’s bottom line that moving substantial iPhone production out of China too quickly could cause problems in the supply chain or even drive Apple’s manufacturing costs higher.

In an interview with Fortune, Bill Ho, an analyst at 556 Ventures, said Apple is trying to get a full picture from its suppliers, who actually operate the manufacturing facilities, to see what’s feasible. But he cautioned that Apple would ultimately need to make a final, political calculation.

“The costs would be higher,” if Apple stayed in China, Ho said, but the political risk of leaving China and angering consumers in that critical market, could be enough “to overcome those higher costs.”

That said, Apple has already dabbled in moving iPhone production to other countries. The company’s manufacturing contractor Wistron has been producing its low-cost iPhone SE in India for the last two years. Reports from India this year also said that Apple would start producing its iPhone X in India later this year with help from its biggest manufacturing partner Foxconn.

Some of the iPhone production Apple may move from China would be shifted to India, the Nikkei reported. The news outlet’s sources added that Apple may also consider producing iPhones in Mexico, Indonesia, and Vietnam, among other locations. It’s unclear why Apple would choose those countries, but they all have low-cost, but relatively skilled labor.

“Each has merits and certainly the costs in each country is a primary driver,” Ho told Fortune. “Additionally, it’s beyond lower labor costs but also talent pool, political stability, and incentives given to Apple and its suppliers to set up long-term manufacturing there.”

Still, Ives isn’t sold. He thinks China is too important to Apple’s iPhone for the company to make a major shift in its smartphone production. And like it or not, Apple may have no other choice but to stay in the country.

“Apple has ‘bet the farm’ on its flagship China production factory which produces the vast majority of iPhones globally and represents and the hearts and lungs of the Cupertino ecosystem,” said Ives, referring to the city in which Apple’s headquarters is located.

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