Smartphones: How and where it is manufactured?

#1
I am just wondering how and where our smartphones we are using were manufactured? Like for instance, in the case of iPhone. Are the components and everything in its phone manufactured and assembled all in the US? And Samsung phones are all coming from the South Korea?
 

Fishbate

Active member
#2
Well you'd be surprised that it all starts with a piece of material called Reinforced (fiberglass) epoxy resin.
1517553948947.png

This material will go a long...long way of brutal processo_O.

Like any electronic device, it all starts with a pcb board which we call mother board. This board will go into a series of Sub processes in a Manufacturing plant. From Engineering which designs the patterns of the board to laminating (the green stuff or mat on a pcb) . Also holes are drilled into it according to design. This holes will be the insert point of the components that will be installed once the pcb if finished. After this, traces and lines will be available on the board but its just traces. For the lines to be conductive and inductive, it will go on to a process called electrolysis. And there's a lot of them, from CU plating(Cpper), NIAu plating (Nickle&Gold), and others. Once the traces are embedded thru electrolysis. A series of test will be conducted like OPEN/SHORT Test. This is to assure that the traces are under specifications. Note this traces are as thin as hair . So imagine one line is cut...this means a circuit is not complete. Once the pcb is complete it will go to the next process called SMT(Surface Mount Technology) , This is where they put the components on the pcb like resistors, regulators,etc...

This is where they get tricky...
There are several components that will be embedded on a PCB board and not all off them are made by the same manufacturer..

Example like SAMSUNG, this giant does not only produces devices, also components like smd's. This smd's are also sold in the market. I would not be surprised if one of these components are used in other brands. So if your asking about components on a smartphone... if they belong to a single manufacture? i would say not...

Now is our PCB finished? Nope...This PCB's are then shipped to different sub assembly plants where they install other components. LCD Screen, Battery, the enclosure, the buttons. When everything is complete a final test is done, then it will be packaged and finally to the distributors..which then shipped to different countries and different stores.

Please note this is only base on my knowledge, it may or may not be accurate. So i hope this help.:giggle:
 
#3
I got curious too and found this article.
For Apple, for example, here is a list of its parts and where it came from:

1.jpg

2.jpg


Apple have factories in China so assembly is mostly done there.

Even Samsung have factories in different countries like Vietnam where around 50% of its mobile phones are manufactured there and only about 8% in Korea.

So, basically, most cellular phones are made from everywhere because of its parts and manpower.
 
#4
LoloyCabiling
So, as you were saying, not a single mobile phone by any company was made in their country of origin? Like for instance for Samsung, their units are not entirely manufactured in the South Korea? By that, how about the packaging of this units? I have learned, for example, that Samsung has its Korean version and also US version. What is the difference of these two versions?
 
#5
iris2992
Yes I think so, at least not 100% made in their own country. Even Chinese brands like Xiaomi, Oppo or Huawei have factories in different countries such as India. Nokia has manufacturing facilities across Europe, America and Asia, too. But why would they want to build factories overseas? It's because of the cost. Labor and materials are cheaper and abundant overseas. Different countries have different salary requirements and cost of living. Also because of the availability of the materials needed to build the components of a phone such as graphite found in batteries or silicon used in processors. China was the world's largest graphite producer followed by India and Brazil. Do you remember the news about an explosion in a Samsung battery factory in China last Feb 2017? That just shows that even Samsung makes their batteries in China. If you're a businessman, making products where the raw materials are accessible and abundant just makes sense.

Some, not all, phones have differences from where it's manufactured. Let's take for example the Samsung Galaxy S4. The Korean version has better components than its US version but it's more expensive. Look at this image:

s4.jpg


The most notable difference here is in the processor. The US version used Qualcomm's Snapdragon 600 quad-core processor while the Korean version used the Octacore Exynos 5 eight-core processor which is, of course, more powerful especially for processor-intensive functions. There are also differences in their wireless, user interface and sensors and GPS. They make different versions to cater to different markets or regions: some may want cheaper phones while the others would want powerful ones.
 
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