Are the lessons of the past about to revisit the US once again unlearned?
It all probably started with the garment industry, but are the same old capitalist traits and the stubbornness of a president about to turn the US into a technological third world?
We in the west, slaves to greed and the bottom line that we are, have made one mistake over and over again. And then stood aghast at the inevitable consequence of our error.
Ever since the days of king cotton, we have had the habit of inventing, and then industrialising an idea, then in the pursuit of increased profit margins, we have taken our big ideas east. Only to see them adopted, improved, economised and then sent right back at us at the expense of the slow painful death of our parent companies.
This happened in the rag trade, lost initially to India, the motorcycle trade lost to Japan and more recently the motor car, lost to first Japan and more recently to China. When will we learn that the bottom line isn’t always everything.
But it Couldn’t Happen to Apple, Right?
I should probably add the mobile phone industry to that costly list, but up until recently the US still held the upper hand in the portable technology market with the seemingly un-movable Goliath of Apple. However unknown or un-noticed by the rest of us the rot had set in long, long ago, and the greed of US companies has for many years been slowly drip-feeding technology and know-how into China.
Ever since Apple in the mid 90’s made the decision to move the vast majority of it’s manufacture to China, and the first mobile phone clones made us all aware that in China the patent (international or not) is not worth the paper that it is written on, the warning signs must have been there to warn against feeding too much in the way of technology eastwards.
Well with the clumsy and belated involvement of the latest US president, fumbling around in a trade war already lost we have all been witness to the piousness and arrogance of the US technology giants. They really did believe that they could farm out all of the expensive manufacture of our tech, to China, without any come back, because they mistakenly thought that they could always control the influx of cheap Chinese imports by controlling the base products.
The theory went, that chips sets, and memory would always be made in the US along with antennas and so China’s power to influence could be controlled either through supply to demand of cost. Slowly but surely over many years the wheels have fallen off this theoretical wagon. Whenever an extra buck could be made by moving sections of manufacture eastwards, that decision was made without second thought. We have seen the manufacture of Snapdragon chips and the production of memory moved to China (temporarily) on a number of occasions.
Each time that the US giants have served up a slice of their protected industry into China, very quickly the evidence of that technology being adopted and efficiency savings made has presented itself through more and more, cheaper and cheaper goods hitting western streets in a greater and greater quality.
To the point over recent months, even the most dedicated of Applephobes have started to realise that even the Great Apple, no longer makes the best tech goods available, even they have been surpassed, and not just once by one manufacturer, but many, many times by an ever increasing number.
Even to this sad tale, the source of the straw that finally broke the camel’s back is ironic.
All the way through this American ignorance of how the eastern industrialised world adopts, adapts and improves there were two bedrocks that would surely insure US command of the tech market, that could not be circumnavigated Google (more on them later), and a little known company Qualcom.
Don’t Worry We Got This
Let us deal with Qualcom, first. They are basically responsible for the route cause of what all of the fuss these past few months has been about. The invented and made possible 5G. Now here is where it gets a bit weird because, 5G development has been very, very expensive. And so because Apple’s own R&D, has not kept pace with the development of 5G technology and they let Qualcom know to slow the development down by a couple of years so that the personal hardware could be launched on an unsuspecting world at around the same time.
Qualcom, responded to this relaxing of time frame by farming out further development in the system to Huawei, under license. Just for an example of what a stroke of genius this move was, in the last year alone Huawei, have invested $140 million, in the R&D of 5G, Qualcom have invested $1.4 million. To safeguard the US section of the project the license is built around the inclusion of a sealed chipset developed by Qualcom.
Then we get to the sudden realisation of the US technology industry that they are now falling behind, and that the Chinese, (as with every other industry in history) are now moving forwards at a pace with which the US cannot possibly match. There is a massive plea entered to the government for help and involvement. Hello trade war.
Now the trade war being waged by Trump and his band of idiots is very interesting, as quite rightly it is based on a huge security issue that cannot really be denied. However the ironic part about all of this is that the security issue is within the sealed tamper-proof chip produced by Qualcom and not really anything to do with the work that Huawei, have done. And just for added benefit it is a chip that has been inserted in almost every piece of American defence since 2010!
Where does that leave your Homeland Security?
Google will Save the Day, or Buy It
Enter the world’s most hated (apart maybe from WikiLeaks), but relied upon company, Google. Now despite not really bearing anything that could be called unique,Google has managed to leach into almost every corner of our lives. Even Apple users with their own OS, couldn’t survive without the intervention of Google, in almost everything they do. But bear in mind here that Google is really only an operating system that has begged, borrowed, stolen or bought all that it is.
Now if the west had a leader, even half as powerful as Trump, presumes to be, this trade war would be over at the drop of a hat. All that was really needed was for Donald, and his Trumpettes, to bar any western tech company from supplying or trading with Huawei, or any Chinese tech company. No Google, would have cut the legs from underneath the whole of the Chinese tech world. The only down-side to that tactic would have been to piss-off an awful lot of people world-wide.
But we don’t and they didn’t. Instead in cahoots with Google the US introduced the aforementioned ban, but with a 90-day moratorium attached, in theory for the Chinese bad boys to tow the American line.
Everybody ran around, everybody panicked, people started trading in their Chinese phones for iphone 3’s, because that’s all they could afford, Everyone that is apart from the Chinese, they just looked on intrigued and with a look that they knew something we didn’t.
And then today it came.
Remember the name (although it will change, it will become westernised to make it easier for us to digest. Current money is being placed Sinior, as mentioned on the British sitcom Years and Years after all this is where the actual unit prototypes were debuted.
Huawei, announced today, that the 1st 1M units have been shipped to the west with dual OS on-board, Honor, On e-Plus, Xiaomi, have all, already jumped on -board and their dual operating system phones will begin shipping this week. Huawei, estimate that their OS will be ready for switch-on inside 18 months and when that happens the switch will be thrown overnight. At the blink of an eye Google will lose around 30M users, the trade war will be over and once again western industry will have lost.
How long then for Google’s all powerful position? How long then before the tumbleweed blows down Main street? Again. How long before Silicon Valley is the new Detroit?
I hope that you enjoyed reading my article, and that you found it both informative and entertaining. As usual with my articles any feedback would be very welcome, so either post your comments in the space below, or even better contact me by smashing the Whatsapp button to contact me directly. I read and reply to all of your feedback.