Global Manufacturing And Impact Of Globalization On The Smartphone Market

Smartphone Manufacturing Process

The chosen product is the “Smartphone”. It has a significant meaning to it for a reason that most of the manufacturing nowadays is being done alone in China (Lee, Kim & Lim, 2016). During the times when simpler phones were being used, the scenario was not the same. However, the scenarios have changed and so the manufacturing strategies like manufacturing in the offshore locations (Lin & Chen, 2015). Outsourcing has boosted the manufacturing efficiency and has enlarged the possibility to meet the rising demands for a mass production.

Save Time On Research and Writing
Hire a Pro to Write You a 100% Plagiarism-Free Paper.
Get My Paper

Manufacturing of smartphones goes through six different steps. The first step is ‘making of prototype’ when the idea is generated in the board meeting and then an affirmation is passed to the R&D lab. The first thing they do is considering the aesthetics. Once the model is ready, it is being passed to several people to get their opinions. Once one of the models is approved, the hardware part is worked upon. It is then handed over to the group of electronic engineers who take care of processor, memory, battery, display, cameras and others aspects of a phone. It follows an approval on the product from the concerned authorities (Zink et al., 2014).

Software installation is the next step during which the software team checks for the compatibility of the software. Before the designs process, the product is rigorously checked for a number of times to detect whether any further work is required. It is followed by a mass production of phones. Few of the components are outsourced where the original equipment manufacturers (OEM) follow the manufacturing instructions of the Smartphone brand. When the product has met all the parameters of satisfaction, it is then sent for the packaging. The last stage is the shipment through which products are distributed to the global retailers. Product marketing is also the part of the entire phone making journey (Suh & Kim, 2015).

Few of the most famous independently operating phone brands are Apple, Samsung, Lenovo, Sony, LG, Asus, Xiomi, Oppo, Huawei and others. Motorola is now being acquired by Lenovo whereas Nokia by Microsoft (Singh, 2015).   

The phone features are adjusted to meet the needs and demands of people belonging to the different regions. Phone manufacturers are not now just confined to the domestic circuits but have moved to the global countries. International treaties for addressing environmental impacts such as air pollution, wastes, resource depletion and climate change are also the impact of globalization. Multinational companies see environmental impacts as an opportunity to constantly improve their worldwide reputation (Epstein, 2018). They get recognized for their work by the governments, NGOs, public bodies and the people.

Save Time On Research and Writing
Hire a Pro to Write You a 100% Plagiarism-Free Paper.
Get My Paper

Impact of Globalization on Smartphone Manufacturing

The inflow of raw materials from various parts of the world is also an impact of globalization. Manufacturers can also go for the global suppliers who are certified from internationally acclaimed bodies (Kannan, de Sousa Jabbour & Jabbour, 2014). Globalization is helping to access the likes of technologies, raw materials and labor force in the various parts of the world. Strategic alliances by means of merger & acquisition (M&A), joint venturing, strategic partnership and outsourcing are the globalization impacts (Choi & Contractor, 2016). For example, Apple manufactures its phones in two phases such as assembling and manufacturing. Most of the assembling is done in China. Foxconn in China has been its longest running partner. On the other hand, components of phones are made from specialists in the various parts of the world. As for example, Camera is manufactured by Sony in Japan and dozens of other countries in the world whereas flash memory, battery and A-series processor are manufactured by Samsung in South Korea and more other locations in the world (Khan, Alam & Alam, 2015). The reason for such arrangements is to access the core competency of globalized companies. It shows how Apple and the likes are getting benefitted from going global.  

Apple is one of the most widely recognized mobile phone brands in the world. The two globalization paradoxes that the company as of now has faced are as follows:

  1. International trading
  2. Understanding the culture
  3. International trading:

Apple like other manufacturers outsources manufacturing to take the advantage of reduced labor cost and improve the efficiency by facilitating a mass production. Until recently, the decision has paid off and had constantly fulfilled the needs for a mass production. It also helped Apple in avoiding the excessive logistics costs needed to import the manufactured components from China. They did it by assembling the phones in China itself (Pun et al., 2016).

This is indeed a remarkable achievement that customers are paying huge money for a prime product which is manufactured and assembled in China. Customers have liked it for its premium qualities. It was truly a paradox for Apple while they intended to enter China for both manufacturing and assembling. However, the way Apple has managed it so far is just remarkable. The ability to outsource manufacturing and assembling to a number of countries and controlling it effectively just speak of its intelligence Apple has delivered so far (Serra & Kunc, 2015).

Customers in India are different than those in China in many regards. Indian customers are more price sensitive than the Chinese. A large population of Indian customers wants the budget phones. This is also why budget phones from Lenovo, Xiaomi and Vivo have done stupendously well in recent times. These brands had offered specs and features which premium brands would offer at a relatively higher cost. Few premium brands have tried to occupy the mid-budget segment; however, they failed to create the similar impact as that of budget phones in terms of specs and features. Premium brands such as Samsung and Sony witnessed the huge sales drop in recent times and were the brands largely affected by the changing trend (Sujata et al., 2015). Apple is the one exception of premium brands which was able to manage its sales. More customers than ever are now buying the Apple phones. They respond to every latest flagship offering from Apple (Siddiqui & Mishra, 2016). It is just amazing how Apple being highly priced has managed to make its own category. Customers are finding it worth a buy. 

Multinational Companies and Strategic Partnerships

Understanding the culture:

The way Apple deals with the international culture it appears as if it does not work on it. However, it is not true. It does not adapt to customers but rather customers do it. Apple is not on the social media. It also does not advertise rather its customers do it for Apple. Apple does not believe in customizing the features and specs to suit the global needs. It rather comes as ‘one size fits for all’ approach. Despite these hard to believe facts, Apple convincingly manages to behave locally. The customer service protocol is different for different regions and suits the local customs. In fact, the building layout is also designed in a way that it appeals to the architectural culture of the local. Once a location is finalized, they ensure every bit and work hard to make the people feel local. The standardization approach allows Apple to launch its phones in so many regions. Apple’s phones are now available in more than 115 countries (Gehani, 2016).

Apple’s e-commerce website does also create the same impact throughout the world. The only changes being made to it is the inclusion of a feature which can customize the contents of the different regional languages. Apple creates the demands and solidifies its image this way only. They understand the culture so beautifully that people wait in line to embrace this culture when they can just manage it from online. The culture is to bring uniqueness in terms of designs, qualities and creativity (Gupta & Dhillon, 2014).

HR response

The HRM at Apple has different working philosophy than the others in context to the retention of its start talents. Normally, unintentional egalitarianism is followed in other companies which mean using the start talent in every possible zone. On the other hand, Apple follows a non-egalitarian method by which the HRM deploys its star talent at the most critical works. A close to 95% of such cases is fulfilled by A-level talent which also affects the success rate of its business strategies and the execution (Chen & Ann, 2016). Hence, task distribution done in such a way ensures that the employees have little or less challenge in coping up with their tasks. According to Chen & Ann (2016), firms that can appropriately utilize its workforce will have a fewer complaints only coming from employees. The rate of attrition will also reduce.  

Apple’s Approach to Globalization

The HRM at apple did recognize the importance to reduce or destroy a negative publicity of the reward system. The HRM did not reward an individual with a unique performance appraisal until and unless the team has performed (Khan, Alam & Alam, 2015). By doing so, the HRM elaborates on the importance of having the ‘teamwork’.   

Organizational drag is a chronic friction which can potentially impact the productivity. Various factors can act as the friction. One of such factors is ‘cultural diversity’ which can also be intolerant to people. Apple has its stores in many countries supported by both local and the migrant professionals. Those migrant workers can be racially assaulted on a number of times from the native people. After a number of times of constant racist activities, it becomes a chronic friction leading the migrant workers to look for other options (Ozdemir, 2015). Apple has successfully managed the cultural differences by encouraging employees for doing their best and not creating any distraction for others.

Apple is also working on virtual reality plans. The aim is to provide an enhanced camera experience to customers. The HRM was able to identify that the trend is picking up and also being adopted by some big names in the industry such as Samsung, Facebook and Google. It responded to it and started to hire some ex-professionals of Microsoft. Fresh recruitments were also being done to have a sufficient number of skilled professionals. Ex-professionals of Microsoft were experienced in working with the virtual reality (Fortune, 2018).  

Future prediction:

Augmented Reality (AR) is one of the futures for smartphones which would enable customers to know the exact information of anything they select in real-time. They can do it by pointing their camera towards the thing they want to know about. Flexible screens will also be the future which would allow customers to fold and unfold multiple screens at their wish. Organic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) technology will be making this thing possible. In built-Digital Light Projection (DLP) will add more features to the smartphones. TV screens will no longer be required to play games. Only a flat surface will do the thing. Seamless Voice Control, 3D Screens and Holograms will also be the future of smartphones.

Globalization will continue to impact the manufacturers and the smartphone brands. Apple would probably be shifting its manufacturing facilities to India due to reducing sales and incrementing labor cost in China.

Impact of Cultural Differences on the Workforce

The HRM will come with effective strategies to attract and retain the talents to maintain a diverse workforce. A lot of emphasis would be on productivity rather on promoting the racism. Work-engagement will become a prime focus.

The HRM at Apple needs to follow the footsteps of successful companies which have effectively maintained its talents. The one area needed to work upon is to reduce the racism. It can follow “Netflix” for how it manages the culturally diverse workforce. Netflix promotes to act in the best interest of the firm.

The end-users will get to see a lot of technological advancements some of which can really be a delighting experience to them. AR, Flexible Screens, In-Built Projector, Holograms & 3D Screens and Flawless Voice Control would be a few changes to watch out for.

References 

Chen, C. M., & Ann, B. Y. (2016). Efficiencies vs. importance-performance analysis for the leading smartphone brands of Apple, Samsung and HTC. Total Quality Management & Business Excellence, 27(3-4), 227-249.

Choi, J., & Contractor, F. J. (2016). Choosing an appropriate alliance governance mode: The role of institutional, cultural and geographical distance in international research & development (R&D) collaborations. Journal of International Business Studies, 47(2), 210-232.

Epstein, M. J. (2018). Making sustainability work: Best practices in managing and measuring corporate social, environmental and economic impacts. Routledge.

Fortune. (2018). https://fortune.com. Retrieved from https://fortune.com/2016/01/29/apple-gets-serious-virtual-reality/

Gehani, R. R. (2016). Corporate Brand Value Shifting from Identity to Innovation Capability: from Coca-Cola to Apple. Journal of technology management & innovation, 11(3), 11-20.

Gupta, S., & Dhillon, I. (2014). Can Xiaomi shake the global smartphone industry with an innovative “services-based business model”?. AIMA Journal of Management & Research, 8(3/4), 2177-97.

Kannan, D., de Sousa Jabbour, A. B. L., & Jabbour, C. J. C. (2014). Selecting green suppliers based on GSCM practices: Using fuzzy TOPSIS applied to a Brazilian electronics company. European Journal of Operational Research, 233(2), 432-447.

Khan, U. A., Alam, M. N., & Alam, S. (2015). A critical analysis of internal and external environment of Apple Inc. International Journal of Economics, Commerce and Management, 3(6), 955-961.

Lee, J., Kim, J. C., & Lim, J. (2016). Globalization and divergent paths of industrial development: Mobile phone manufacturing in China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. Journal of Contemporary Asia, 46(2), 222-246.

Lin, Y. T., & Chen, Y. J. (2015). Competitive outsourcing: choosing between value-added services and key component supplying capability. International Journal of Production Research, 53(12), 3635-3650.

Ozdemir, F. (2015). Between shortage of qualified staff and disadvantages in the labour market: Towards managing and creating new opportunities. Procedia economics and finance, 23, 210-215.

Pun, N., Shen, Y., Guo, Y., Lu, H., Chan, J., & Selden, M. (2016). Apple, Foxconn, and Chinese workers’ struggles from a global labor perspective. Inter-Asia Cultural Studies, 17(2), 166-185.

Serra, C. E. M., & Kunc, M. (2015). Benefits realisation management and its influence on project success and on the execution of business strategies. International Journal of Project Management, 33(1), 53-66.

Siddiqui, I., & Mishra, U. M. (2016). A Study of Consumer Buying Behavior in Organized Retail Sector: Electronic Industry (Samsung Televisions). International Journal of Engineering and Management Research (IJEMR), 6(2), 401-406.

Singh, N. P. (2015). Google bought and sold Motorola Mobility-What it means. International Journal of Business Policy and Strategy Management, 1, 13-24.

Suh, Y., & Kim, M. S. (2015). Dynamic change of manufacturing and service industries network in mobile ecosystems: The case of Korea. Telematics and Informatics, 32(4), 613-628.

Sujata, J., Roy, A., Thakkar, D., Banik, A., Arora, G. D., & Parashar, P. (2015). Conceptual paper on factors affecting the attitude of senior citizens towards purchase of smartphones. Indian Journal of Science and Technology, 8(S4), 83-89.

Zink, T., Maker, F., Geyer, R., Amirtharajah, R., & Akella, V. (2014). Comparative life cycle assessment of smartphone reuse: repurposing vs. refurbishment. The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, 19(5), 1099-1109.