John Brownlee at Cult of Mac:
In November of last year, Brazilian billionaire Elke Batista declared that he wanted Apple to abandon Foxconn and China and come build iPads in Brazil.
Well, looks like he got half his wish: while Foxconn remains involved, future iPads may soon be built in Brazil thanks to a $12 billion investment by that company in the South American nation.
iPads made in Brazil. I’m not sure what to think about that. Brownlee incorrectly thinks Brazil is much closer to the US than is China. East Coast cities might be, but many are not. The distance from Cupertino, CA where Apple is headquartered to Brasilia, capital of Brazil is about 6000 miles or 9700 kilometers (km). That’s only a little less than the 6900 miles or 11000 km from Cupertino to Shenzhen, China.
Building iPads in Brazil probably has less to do with supplying demand in the US and more to do with meeting iPad demand in the local economy in Brazil. Apple products are expensive in Brazil thanks to exceptionally high taxes, up to 35%, for some products that are not manufactured locally. And Brazil is a massive country with about 200 million in population making it the fifth largest country in the world after China, India, the US, and Indonesia. Per capita GDP is US$11,239 ranked 71 according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) so Apple has a huge incentive to make its products more affordable in Brazil.