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Why the US is lagging behind China in phone manufacturing

A smart phone. It’s the most common device Americans use on a daily basis, but domestic tech companies don’t seem to be investing in making these devices at home.

China is the distant leader in global manufacturing. In a report released by the United Nations, the country accounted for 30.5% of global manufacturing output in 2021, with the United States second at 16.8% and Japan a distant third at just 7%.

Apple is so heavily dependent on China that in 2019 news leaked on social media that the iPhone maker was United Airlines’ largest customer, the company purchasing 50 business class seats daily between San Francisco and Shanghai.

While many tech companies have chosen to manufacture products overseas, one US-based company defies conventional wisdom and builds locally.

The startup is called Purism and was founded in 2014 by Todd Weaver. In its early days, Purism was supported by crowdfunding initiatives. Now the company has expanded to manufacture electronic devices like smartphones. Purism manufactures the Librem 5 USA phone model, which is the only smartphone in the world with the “Made in USA” stamp.

Watch the video to learn more about why the US is lagging behind China in phone manufacturing.


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