I was a little surprised to hear iPhones and iPads mentioned during the presidential debate this past week. Candy Crowley, the moderator, asked Obama and Romney: "iPad, the Macs, the iPhones, they're all manufactured in China. One of the major reasons is labor is so much cheaper there. How do you convince a great American company to bring that manufacturing back here?" Romney answered that China has been cheating and pointed out that there is even a counterfeit Apple Store in China. Obama answered that there are some jobs that are not going to come back because they are low wage, low skill jobs, but Obama wants to improve educational opportunities so that we have more high wage, high skill jobs.
Obama's answer was interesting because I believe it came from Steve Jobs himself. In February of 2011, a number of technology titans had dinner with President Obama, including Steve Jobs. According to Charles Duhigg and Keith Bradsher of the New York Times, Obama asked Jobs the same question that Crowley asked the candidates. "Mr. Jobs’s reply was unambiguous. 'Those jobs aren’t coming back,' he said, according to another dinner guest" because the factories and skilled workers available in China simply do not exist here. As Walter Isaacson explained in his biography of Steve Jobs, Jobs told Obama at that dinner that if there were more educated engineers in the U.S., "we could move more manufacturing plants here." Issacson states: "The argument made a strong impression on the president. Two or three times over the next month he told his aides, 'We've got to find ways to train those 30,000 manufacturing engineers that Jobs told us about.'" And sure enough, in the debate this week, Obama continued to speak about the need to educate more engineers so that we have more high wage, high skill jobs. We know that Steve Jobs continues to have a huge impact on Apple, but apparently he also continues to influence the President. And now for the rest of the news of note from the past week:
- Speaking of the iPhone being manufactured in China, according to Lorraine Luk of The Wall Street Journal, there is still an iPhone 5 supply shortage because it is the most difficult device that Foxconn (in China) has ever assembled. "'To make it light and thin, the design is very complicated,' said an official at the company who declined to be named. 'It takes time to learn how to make this new device. Practice makes perfect. Our productivity has been improving day by day.'" I know of several attorneys who are still on a waiting list for an iPhone 5, plus a law student who tweeted to me yesterday. Hopefully supply will increase soon.
- New York attorney Nikki Black reviews the Typi Folio Case, an iPad case that includes a Bluetooth keyboard, for the GP Solo eReport.
- Minnesota attorney Randall Ryder discusses using iOS 6 in your law practice in this post for Lawyerist.com.
- Localscope, a useful app I reviewed about a year and a half ago, was updated to version 3.0 this week to add iOS 6 support, proximity based push notifications, and other new options. It's a neat app for discovering places around you. Click here to get Localscope ($1.99):
- My favorite Twitter app for the iPhone and iPad is Tweetbot. Yesterday, a version was released for the Mac, and I immediately purchased it. It looks and works great. Highly recommended for anyone who uses the iPhone or iPad app. Click here to get Tweetbot for Mac ($19.99):
- A large amount of the iPad-related stories from this past week consisted of speculation about the Apple announcement coming up on Tuesday, October 23. If you are interested in reading some of the most interesting articles, I can recommend this one from John Gruber and this one from Rene Ritchie of iMore.
- And finally, it's almost time for Halloween, which means it is now time for someone to figure out the latest and greatest way to integrate an iPhone or iPad into a costume. Mark Rober — a NASA Jet Propulsion Lab engineer — has come up with a fun idea: T-shirts in which you place an iPhone or iPad to make the shirt come to life. The following video shows how it works, and you can get more information and download the free app that works with the shirt on the Digital Dudz website.