Apple Inc. and its associated team of iPods, iPhones and iPads often dominate discussions of worldwide globalization. Most of the time, critics use Apple as a scapegoat for the horrors committed by Foxconn, a corporation that Apple works with to create their often-revered product line. However, a pair of 2011 studies (authored by Greg Linden, Jason Dedrick and Kenneth L. Kraemer) and an ensuing New York Times article point out another troubling aspect that adds to a seemingly always-growing statement: Apple isn’t the perfect little company everyone believes it to be.
Politicians, historians and cultural icons have long lauded the so-called “American dream.” One important aspect of this dream has long been the concept of an entrepreneur with a great idea, who can then turn that idea into a corporation and that corporation can then produce jobs. Apple and its founder, the late Steve Jobs, were always mentioned in the same breath as those buzzwords: entrepreneurial, job-creating, and homegrown. Yet these days, Apple is producing a lot more jobs overseas than they are in the U.S. Even as far back as 2006, these studies point out, Apple had more than twice as many overseas employees as they had domestic ones. And while the average American (and uninformed politicians even) would point to China as the “job-stealer” here, less than half of those overseas jobs were in China. Apple has created 4,750 jobs in the Philippines alone—a much smaller population than China and therefore a much larger relative recipient of Apple production.
Yet it is not all bad news for America. While twice as many jobs are overseas, 750 million dollars of annual salary stays in the U.S. while only $320 million goes abroad. Tons of Apple products go through China on their way to consumers, but very little financial value is added there; money made by Apple comes back to Apple in the U.S., rather than staying in China. Overall, Apple will always have its business practices questioned due to its high-profile status and tendency to employ overseas. Yet those business practices have earned lots of money for American professionals, creating a divisive dichotomy in the pros and cons list for Apple, Inc.