The iPad 2 has been a runaway success story for Apple, but it’s hard to deny the twinge of guilt we feel as we tear past the made in China stamp on the outside of the box. Given a choice I think most of us would prefer to buy local when possible, but what would that add to the cost of your shiny new gizmo? Well in the case of the iPad 2 it would raise the price by almost $300.
The analysts interviewed by The Atlantic came up with this number using simply math. According to iSuppli each iPad 2 takes about 9 hours to assemble, and the hourly rate for a Foxconn employee is around $1.11 per hour. This works out to about $10 in labor costs per unit built.
Alternately the average US labor rate for manufacturing is about $32.53 per hour when benefits are factored in, and this works out to $292.77 per iPad. To make things even worst analysts point out that the price increases wouldn’t end here. If Apple were to produce the iPad 2 domestically, it would need to import all of the materials it would use in the assembly. If they chose to source the parts locally instead, this still wouldn’t help much since mining jobs also pay considerably higher in North America than abroad.
So would you be willing to pay $792 for an American built entry level iPad over the $499 we have today? It would be nice to have the option, but I’m willing to bet not many of you would take it.