New map graphic shows how massive Apple’s supply chain really is


When you think about Apple’s supply chain, the first—and only, for some—place that comes to mind is China. Images start propagating in the mind of oft-reported impoverished plants with thousands of factory workers building iPhones and iPads. But there’s much more to it.

The truth is, Apple’s supply chain is far more expansive, reaching all the way around the globe. As this new interactive map shows, the company receives components from suppliers, and production support, from the United States, Australia, Brazil and several other places…

apple supplier map

ChinaFile and Tea Leaf Nation have teamed up (via AppleInsider) to create ‘Who Supplies Apple (It’s Not Just China): An Interactive Map.’ The map offers a good visualization of where all of Apple’s suppliers are located around the world, and how massive its supply chain is.

Admittedly, the majority of these suppliers are in southeast Asia—with a majority of those in China—where 17.6% of global manufactured goods are produced. But other continents are also represented in the chain including North America, South America, and Europe.

The map is based on data from Apple’s publicly available suppliers list, which it started publishing in January of last year. The list, Apple says, represents 97% of the company’s “procurement expenditures for materials, manufacturing, and assembly of Apple’s products worldwide.”

Carved out by operations expert-turned-CEO Tim Cook, Apple’s supply chain is the stuff of legends. The company’s flair for placing staggeringly large part orders gives it remarkable leverage with suppliers, who offer component discounts and exclusivities in exchange for its business.