Posted March 09, 2020 09:51:15When it comes to buying a smartphone from one of the world’s largest smartphone manufacturers, chances are you’re probably going to have a better chance of getting one from the United Kingdom’s biggest brand, Apple.
Apple’s smartphone production lines have been working around the clock for years to meet the demand for the Apple Watch, and the company is still making its mark in the UK.
The UK’s second largest smartphone manufacturer, TCL, also manufactures iPhones, and it is one of Apple’s most profitable markets, according to research firm IDC.
But it’s not all about the money.
The vast majority of UK-made iPhones are made in Germany, which has been Apple’s main smartphone producer for the past three decades.
And in fact, while TCL is Apple’s biggest market by revenue, Apple’s manufacturing facilities in the United States and Germany make up a large share of its total production in the country.TCL has a global workforce of about 100,000 workers, which includes more than 70,000 in the US, according the company’s website.
It employs more than a quarter of the UK workforce, according IDC, and in 2017, the company employed over 10,000 UK workers, making it the fifth largest UK employer, behind only Apple, Tata and Siemens.TECHNOLOGY AND SOFTWARETCL employs some 1,000 people at its US headquarters, and its workforce employs about 500 people in the European Union.
While the company has grown its UK manufacturing facilities, its manufacturing workforce has not.
In the United states, TLC’s workforce has grown by about 80 per cent since 2008.
In 2016, TCCA’s research found that the UK smartphone industry had experienced a 10 per cent decline in the number of UK smartphone manufacturing jobs, compared to the same year in 2016.
That decline was particularly pronounced in the manufacturing industry, where the number had dropped by 17 per cent, with the industry accounting for over half of TCL’s total workforce.
“The UK smartphone sector is very reliant on outsourcing and outsourced manufacturing, so TCL needs to be aware of the impact this is having on their workforce,” said Mike Peltz, chief executive of TechnoLogic, a UK-based research and consultancy firm that studies global manufacturing.
“If TCL were to make the switch to manufacturing in the USA, it would make an important contribution to the UK economy and it would have a knock-on effect in terms of productivity, and potentially lower costs,” he added.TCCA is also researching how to support the UK industry as a whole.
While TCL does not make its own chips, it does have a chip partner, A123 Systems, which is responsible for many of the chips used in the iPhone.
It has developed a chip-making technology called “TEC-TAC,” which is a low-cost, low-tech, low volume process that can reduce the cost of manufacturing and increase productivity.TEC TAC, or Trusted Execution Centre, is a process that creates a series of chips in a single step, allowing the chip to be designed and assembled on a chip fab by using a high-volume, low cost manufacturing process, said A123 founder Michael Ainsworth.TAC-Tac processes are used in both chip manufacturing and chip manufacturing services, and A123 is developing a chip manufacturing service that will help TCL to improve its technology in the chip manufacturing industry.
“We’re building the TEC-TCA service, which will support the TCL manufacturing operations, to support TCL as they move towards a new manufacturing process in the future,” said Ainsborough.
“We’re very excited about that, and really looking forward to working with them.”WHAT TO KNOW:What is TCL?TCL is a wholly owned subsidiary of Apple, and has a manufacturing operation in the U.K. Its manufacturing facilities are located in the Rotherhithe factory in South Yorkshire.
TCL also operates two manufacturing plants in the Netherlands and in Germany.
TLC employs around 4,000 at its factory in Rotherhathe, South Yorkshire, and 4,500 in a manufacturing facility in Roodt, Germany.
How big is TLC?
It employs around 40,000 and has operations in the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States, and United States.
In 2017, TWC’s workforce grew by 1,400, and that figure is expected to increase by 2,000 jobs by 2020.
What products do TCL sell?T