In recent years, there has been a growing concern regarding the dominance of Chinese tech companies in the global market. Companies such as Huawei, ZTE, and Xiaomi have created competition in the smartphone market, making it hard for other companies to enter.
As of now, it is difficult to find a smartphone that is not made in China. Google recently announced they are partnering with HTC to create a phone called the Pixel 3. While this is good news for HTC, it is still not a phone made in the U.S., so it will not reduce the amount of Chinese smartphones on the market.
There are some companies that make their phones in the U.S., but they are few and far between and do not have as much popularity or recognition as other brands. How can we increase American-made phones? What can be done to encourage other companies to manufacture in the U.S.
Why are smartphones made in China?
Smartphones are mostly made in China due to a few important factors. First, China has a large supply of electronics workers. Many of these workers moved to the electronics manufacturing cities for jobs, and the job market keeps growing as the demand for smartphones keeps rising.
Second, China has very competitive prices for components and labor. This is again due to the large supply of electronics workers and the cost of living in China.
Third, shipping is very affordable from China to other countries which makes it easy to source components and complete phones.
If you are looking to start your own smartphone company, we would not recommend moving it out of China! Try finding other places with cheap labor and components to source though- that may help you keep your phone made in country.
Who makes smartphones now?
In 2018, almost all smartphones were made by Samsung, Huawei, Xiaomi, and Apple. Some other brands make smartphones as well, but they are not very popular.
Samsung is a South Korean company that makes many different types of electronics. They are one of the biggest companies in the world. Their smartphones run Android and they are sold worldwide.
Huawei is a Chinese company that also makes many different types of electronics. Their phones run Android and they are sold worldwide as well.
Xiaomi is a Chinese company that makes only smartphones. They run Android and are sold mostly in China and some other nearby countries.
Apple is a U.S.-based company that only makes iPhones. They run iOS and are sold worldwide. Some other companies, like Sony or Nokia, used to make phones but now only make devices for the phone carrier connection (called “phone sets” in the business) not for themselves.
How can I find a non-China made smartphone?
Currently, the best way to find a non-China made smartphone is to do research on which brands are producing smartphones outside of China. Look up which companies manufacture their components and where they are produced.
There are many websites that sell smartphones, including Amazon, eBay, Verizon, AT&T, and Best Buy. Amazon is also launching its own branded smartphones soon, so check their website for options as well.
It is also wise to check if the phone has a cryptographic module installed. This is a hardware component that encrypts data sent and received by the phone. If the phone does not have this installed then your data may be vulnerable.
If you find a smartphone made by a company outside of China then feel free to buy it! You got a good quality device that will last you while. Check out some suggestions on websites below.
What about buying from the manufacturer?
If you are set on getting a smartphone but do not want it to be made in China, your best bet is to buy it directly from the manufacturer.
Many popular smartphone makers have their own online stores, so you can even buy them directly from them. Other than having the peace of mind that it is not made in China, you will also save money by buying directly from the manufacturer.
TechRice is a great place to look for phones that are not made in China. They have lists of phones from different manufacturers and countries where they are made. This way you can find a good quality phone that is not produced in China.
Are there any startups making non-China phones?
There are a few startups that are trying to create smartphones without any help from companies in China. However, most of them are not very successful yet.
One company called Pi-top has designed a laptop that you can build yourself. They also have their own Pi-top OS for smartphones that they have released demo videos for, but no actual phones yet.
Another startup called Sirin Labs has launched their first smartphone, the Solarin, which costs $9,000. It is marketed towards investors and elite users as it claims to be ultra-secure.
Lgtvhone is a UK based phone manufacturer that sells Android phones that are comparable to Samsung Galaxy S9’s for around £250 ($330). If you search lg v20 on amazon, you will find one for $200 ($245 CAD).
Can I repair my non-China phone myself?
Unfortunately, it is currently very difficult to repair your own smartphone if you do not have access to parts from China. Although some sites offer guides on how to replace parts on your phone, the sensors and chips are not available to purchase in the United States.
Many people have started their own businesses offering phone repair, but since they cannot obtain the original parts, they have to source similar ones that may not work with the rest of the phone.
Since most of the factories that produce sensors and chips are located in China, it is hard to find replacements that are of good quality. People who offer phone repair often have to replace many of the components which results in higher costs for the customer.
The biggest concern for users who cannot obtain a Chinese made smartphone is whether or not they will be able to get a reliable phone repair. Since most people keep their phones for two to three years, this could become an issue.
What about e-waste and batteries?
A lot of folks worry about the impact of Chinese-made phones on the environment. While it’s true that most smartphones are put in landfills and contribute to e-waste, it’s not because they’re Apple products or because they’re made in China.
Most electronic devices contain hazardous materials like lead, brominated flame retardants (BFRs), and polyvinyl chloride (PVC). When these devices are discarded, these chemicals seep into the soil and water supply.
Since most people replace their phones every one to two years, there is a large amount of old phones being discarded at once. This creates even more e-waste!
To reduce the amount of e-waste you produce, try keeping your phone for a little longer before upgrading. Or, if you need to upgrade, check out some of the non-China alternatives mentioned above.
Should I buy a smartphone now?
Now that you have all the information you need about the smartphone controversy, it is time to consider if you should buy a new smartphone.
If you are in the market for a new phone, wait until companies confirm that their devices are not made in China. While some companies may have smartphones available now, they will not last long unless they can guarantee their quality and safety.
Even if you desperately want a new phone, wait until after March when the next generation of phones are released. If you really need a phone now, look for brands that are Made in India or Made in Japan to be safe.
While there is no proof that phones cause cancer, it is better to be safe than sorry. If you need a phone for work or other important functions, try to limit your use and keep an eye out for any signs of health problems.