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Made by Apple in Name Only

Foxconn and other contract manufacturers earn most of the revenue but little of the profit

1 min read
Made by Apple in Name Only

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Illustration: Luke Shuman
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The worldwide consumer electronics marketplace might appear to be a vast jungle of different brand names and product lines. But this diversity is deceiving. Even though every major brand around the world outsources some—and in some cases all—of its manufacturing, there are just 10 major players in electronics contract manufacturing. Industry leader Foxconn Technology Co. (based in Tucheng, Taiwan) makes not only Apple’s iPods, iPhones, and iPads but also computers and components for Dell, Hewlett-Packard, and Acer; phones for Sony Ericsson and Nokia; and other electronics for Intel, Cisco, Nintendo, and Amazon.com.

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From WinZips to Cat GIFs, Jacob Ziv’s Algorithms Have Powered Decades of Compression

The lossless-compression pioneer received the 2021 IEEE Medal of Honor

11 min read
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Photo of Jacob Ziv
Photo: Rami Shlush
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Lossless data compression seems a bit like a magic trick. Its cousin, lossy compression, is easier to comprehend. Lossy algorithms are used to get music into the popular MP3 format and turn a digital image into a standard JPEG file. They do this by selectively removing bits, taking what scientists know about the way we see and hear to determine which bits we'd least miss. But no one can make the case that the resulting file is a perfect replica of the original.

Not so with lossless data compression. Bits do disappear, making the data file dramatically smaller and thus easier to store and transmit. The important difference is that the bits reappear on command. It's as if the bits are rabbits in a magician's act, disappearing and then reappearing from inside a hat at the wave of a wand.

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