Hanging from the very top of the tree that is the worldwide electronics manufacturing industry… is Apple. Manufacturer of the iPhone and iPad, this electronics manufacturing company has managed to dominate in the communications and computing industries, keeping Asian PCB designers in business. Well, at least that’s what we all thought.
Interestingly, you may have noticed in the news that Apple shares have dropped significantly, on the back of lower than expected sales performance. In Asia, the Nikkei Newswire has reported reductions in the production of iPhone components – such as PCBs – and the Reuters news agency has ventured even further in claiming Sharp has actually now halted iPad production. If you’ve been to an Apple store recently, or tried to get your hands on iPhone5, this may seem unlikely, but these would indeed seem to be the stats.
American electronics companies and Asian PCB manufacturers are at one end of the industry, however it’s a myth that there is no electronics manufacturing industry within this country. In fact, a quarter of a million people work in the design, production and distribution of electronics in the UK, working across more than 10,000 businesses. From new electronics start-ups in the garage of their parents’ home (just as Apple itself once began), to be the big boys building microchips and printed circuit boards for amplifiers and radios, the UK is well served by its electronics manufacturing companies.
Associated with the growing success of the UK electronics industry is the opening of new markets in 2013. Take defence. As the government announces reductions in our troop numbers, opportunities open up for electronics, in terms of the drones and other equipment more and more integral to the electronically-driven nature of this country’s military strategy. At the other end of the spectrum, technology is also at the heart of healthcare. With growing pressures on the NHS, electronics now underpins advanced diagnostics and treatment, with benefits for the NHS in terms of both cost efficiencies and health outcomes. Electronics are also at the heart of the growing movement towards home care, and the requisite communications between home and hospital.
So, whilst it’s interesting to note the impact of the global market on the Apple at the top of the tree… the roots and branches of the UK electronics industry remain stronger than ever.
Tags: electonics manufacturing