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point of view 2013: a look back continues is somewhere north of 14% (Forbes/BLS). The 10 years), which will continue to present more U.S. is dead last in the world for Gross Domesopportunities for the U.S. market. Much of the talk at April's IPC APEX EXPO tic Product growth in 2013 at 1.7%; forecasts was how to bring manufacturing back to the U.S. for 2014 are only slightly better, at 2.8%, pullOnshoring (the preservation of existing ahead of only Japan and the EU. Whether it is RoHS, conflict mining manufacturing in America) erals or the EPA, restrictive legis increasing as a result of U.S. islation continues to make it companies becoming more Apple plans to harder for PCB manufacturglobally competitive through ers to not only make a profmove $100 million of efforts such as Lean, product it, but survive. Look for the design, reduced labor cost biggest to get bigger through through increased efficienMacintosh computer cies, and improved customacquisitions both domestically and globally. er responsiveness. Reshoring manufacturing back In 1990 there were rough(the return of work to America that had been previously ly around 1,000 U.S. printed to the U.S. While lost to offshore competition) circuit board manufacturers; is also on the uptick. China's in 2000 there were 700, and this may be a public rising labor costs, political in 2010 the number of domesunrest and weaker exports tic shops had fallen to only relations move on are driving this trend. Apple 365. Unfortunately, I fear this number will be less than 300 Apple's part, it is still plans to move $100 million of Macintosh computer manby the end of 2015,a short to two years away. Where the $100 million worth of ufacturing back be the U.S. While this may a public U.S. market needs to continrelations move on Apple's ue to compete are QTA/proto work coming back. part, it is still $100 million business, advanced technolworth of work coming back. ogy and short run orders. " " Global PCB Snapshot The global printed circuit board industry's total available market is currently at a little more than $60 billion, with Asia still dominating world production. There are a little over 2,900 printed circuit board manufacturers globally, and the United States held onto its fifthplace rank with just under a 5% share, which may look encouraging. However, this is extremely misleading as the top four countries are responsible for 89% of the total global PCB pie. People much smarter than me are only forecasting single-digit growth of the industry for the next five years. Bright Spots Looking Forward There are a few positive signs looking forward: Leading indicators are rising in some regions and new product designs are starting to show some life. The overall world PCB production is increasing (100% growth over the past 18 The PCB Design Magazine • January 2014 Smart Connected Devices "I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." —Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM "There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home." —Ken Olsen, founder of legendary minicomputer company DEC "So we went to Atari and said, 'Hey, we've got this amazing thing, even built with some of your parts, and what do you think about funding us? Or we'll give it to you. We just want to do it. Pay our salary; we'll come work for you.' And they said, 'No.' So then we went to Hewlett-Packard, and they said, 'Hey, we don't need you. You haven't got through college yet.'" —Apple Computer Inc. founder Steve Jobs, on attempts to get Atari and HP interested in his and Steve Wozniak's personal computer.

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