Apple invests billions in optimizing and innovating supply chain

Can robots and state-of-the-art lasers improve Apple's manufacturing efficiency and supply chain?

We don't see what happens behind the scenes when we buy our gadgets, and Apple's $10.5bn investment is no exception.

As reported by Bloomberg, the iPad and iPhone maker is spending more and more on the machines which bring our gadgets up to the firm's standards. From equipment that polishes covers to lasers that carve out the distinctive MacBook's aluminium casing -- and testing gear for cameras embedded within iPhones and iPads -- the company is pulling out the stops to remain a strong competitor against rivals including Samsung.

According to unnamed sources within the supply chain, while Apple recorded the investment on its fiscal 2014 capital-expenditure forecast, the company is increasingly striking exclusive machinery deals and outspending other companies on the tools that factories producing the gadgets have at their disposal.

As well as striking deals for the use of new technology, Apple engineers are also creating it. For the 2012 iMac redesign, Apple made the computer thinner by laminating displays to cover glass -- a new technique -- and large-scale methods were also developed for placing anti-reflective coatings on computers, something that had only previously been done at a small scale in the medical field.

By investing in new technology and manufacturing methods, Apple will be better equipped to keep its mobile phones innovative, especially in light of stagnating sales growth -- although the firm still enjoyed impressive sales of $171 billion last year.

Via: Bloomberg

Image credit: Apple

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This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com