updated 09:20 am EDT, Fri June 3, 2005
The PortalPlayer microchip that runs Apple's popular music player is made in India, Taiwan, China and Silicon Valley, explains Salon.com, in a recent article on . "Is this an example of how globalization works to everyone's benefit -- or a sign that the world economy is about to roll over America?" Headquartered in the U.S., PortalPlayer got its chip into the iPod "by outsourcing or subcontracting every possible step of design and manufacturing." PortalPlayer's software, however, was made at least partly in the U.S. "When we talk to our customers," says PortalPlayer's Michael Maia, "what I say is, we're a firmware development house but we also sell semiconductors." That software, according to Salon staff writer Andrew Leonard, is "PortalPlayer's competitive advantage, the intellectual property that makes songs on your iPod sound good and the device easy to use." The code is written by PortalPlayer's developers in Santa Clara and Kirkland, and at its fully owned subsidiary in Hyderabad, India. "Everything else that can be spun off, is."