With all the debate on the cost of the iPhone, I thought I’d wave the flag a little bit and point out what that money does for Apple and us. Jobs may stuff a healthy amount in his pockets, but a lot of it goes to support the largest corporate electronic design team around. How else could you create somthing like the iPhone without waiting for someone else to do it and stealing the idea? Do you like giving your money to offshore providers when a better domestic product is available? Not only that, those engineers are part of the larger team of people that make up Apple, all paying taxes and supporting services in their community.

Lists are wildly popular throughout the publishing world. Take the Fortune 500, which is highly influential in business. Others have a real impact on our daily lives—Money‘s Best Places to Live, U.S. News‘ Best Colleges list, and Consumer Reports‘ Best Cars list.

But what kind of list would hold import in engineering? How about the Top 100 Employers of Electronic Designers? After collecting reams of relevant data, we weighed various factors to determine the companies that have the most influence on today’s engineering careers.

Of course, we’re well aware that many of you work for startups and independent design houses that may be the source of the next big thing. We’re also aware that the current state of design requires partnering, outsourcing, and boutique intellectual property.

Nonetheless, the Top 100 Employers continue to lead the way based on their established brands and sales channels, patent and IP portfolios, and substantial R&D budgets.

The top three are Apple, Seagate, and Applied Materials. I wish them, the other 97, and all American electronic developers the greatest ongoing success, we need all of you guys and gals. So the next time you see an iPhone remember it’s not all profit.

  1. JoaoPT says:

    Lauren I have no time to quarrel now. I’m working… but you make some assumptions on your diatribe…well… debatable…
    C U Later

  2. smartalix says:


    You would have to solder the male connector to the board and the female connector to the battery. That’s already two parts and one solder joint more than the iPhone. That doesn’t even take into account the peripheral work in mounting and access that would need to be done. Or the resultingly more complex supply chain. Add two millimeters to the thickness, three months to the schedule, and 10% more to the return projections. (Not to mention knock-off batteries causing you additional warranty problems.)

  3. mark says:

    Maybe your right, I’d like to see the design specs on it. (We know that wont happen.) I had an idea for a recessed female connector (battery side) that could mate with a male on the mainboard, but like you said it would never be allowed because of third party devices. Both a good and a bad thing in my opinion.

  4. Lauren the Ghoti says:

    No quarrel, Joao – no assumptions, either. You can run any jukebox / music player / browser / OS you want, contrary to what you assert.

    And people buy Apple products voluntarily. Well, today, anyway. That controversial sales tactic of snatching PC users off the street and forcing them to buy Macs at gunpoint was discontinued when Steve returned, years ago. 🙂

  5. bobbo says:

    Alix & Mark–Good discussion, thanks. My takeaway is that there are certain advantages to producing fixed battery devices and that mfg’ors have a strong financial incentive not to make them replaceable.

    To those with no problems—those batteries will eventually discharge, then what are you going to do? Sure you will buy the next model, throw yours in the heap rather than pass them down the chain to someone else. Planned Obselescene can never be a “good design.”

  6. JoaoPT says:

    Hello my Bowl fished friend. So I’m back @ home
    and the kid is tucked away into bed already…

    This 8 hour difference from yours has this side
    effects… late replies…

    I do sincerely hope that mac users are no fools. I was one and to some degree still am. Well first of all I was NOT implying that there’s something wrong with customer loyalty.
    No, I was just putting on one of the Apple modus operandi (among others). Apple is a sleek marketing company. Always was. And also (see…) a great innovator. But there’s a whole Lotta ground between a desirable product and a good product. Apple is in the dream business. They are excellent at providing the consumer with nifty well presented machines. The sexiness of the product often outshines it’s real value.
    Let me rebate your 100% bullshit label:
    If you buy an iPod can you easily use it without iTunes? Can you fill it with songs and stroll away without iTunes? Because that’s precisely my point, if you are seduced by Apple products can you use them without Apple software? Will you buy an Apple computer not to use OSX? Sure, nowdays Apple computers are no different than PCs (peeceees) but can you scrap OSX all off and install Windows Vista onto it clean? Without boot camp? or Parallels? And you have another incoherence there. PCs don’t force me out of OSX.
    Steve Jobs does!
    There’s no (and it’s not foreseeable any) OSX software only package out of Cupertino. In fact, you can install OSX into regular peecees, but in order to do so you have to hack away an OSX installation and completely violate License agreements…from Apple.
    So, with a straight face: If you buy an Apple machine you have to install OSX (or Linux…)!!!
    This may come at some surprise to you, but I currently use Firefox on my iBook. But you got me wrong. I was talking about the iPhone. The only browser for the iPhone is Safari. If you have an iPhone (and Lauren, I would bet my nuts you do…) you are browsing through Safari.
    And No I’m not implying that Apple is evil. I’m just implying that Apple is tantalizing. And hypnotic (or is it Hype notic…). Loyalists usually are ensnared into an Apple mindset and don’t think out of the box.
    Me, I’ve been there. And with all honesty I confess to you: I still watch Steve’s keynotes, and the Apple site is still one I visit regularly. I watch the ads and chuckle too. And occasionally I stroll into Apple Store and check the prices.
    But then wake up and just say No!…

    See…all gripped up, I can say:
    How dare a corporation can succeed by selling people over and over what they are Pavloved to buy?

    What people don’t realize is that the non-Apple world, with no loyalties and no “fidelizations” (Nify word) are living up to the liberty to use crap, knowing it’s crap, and extracting whatever fun they feel up-to from the crappy systems they bought with their crappy salary. And loving it.
    I do.

    #35 Au contraire my friend. It was exactly in the Jobless period of Apple, that the company was more (so much more) PC like. And the crappiest period too.
    See, I can understand Apple’s mechanisms of seduction and willingly stay away from them. But I can’t say that this field distorted Apple and Fanboy entourage is bad. No! It’s what it’s most appealing of it. It’s it’s charm…

  7. JoaoPT says:

    Sorry to post twice in a row, but this:

    #27 “It works for the customers, who are far and away the most satisfied and loyal in the PC, music player and cellphone segments -”

    …just cracked me up…
    Isn’t it a bit soon to tout the iPhone customer segment one of the most satisfied???
    Or this just proves my point, that Apple users are so predisposed to worship anything Mac that the iPhone has an happy, loyal, clientelle even before being reality proofed???

  8. JoaoPT says:

    How could these guys pulled it off on a 9.4 millimeter phone AND a replaceable battery?

  9. Angel H. Wong says:

    #18 & #19

    Somewhere inside this blog theres evidence of what I’m talking about, I’m just too lazy to dig for something that only a handful of individuals use.

  10. smartalix says:


    It depends on the size of the battery, as I pointed out. According to the specs the battery in that device provides up to 2.5 hours of talk time, significantly shorter than the up to 8 hours of the iPhone’s battery (even independent reviewers say the battery will last over five hours).

    Again, small replaceable battery = thin phone with short time, big replaceable battery = thick phone with long time, big fixed battery = thin phone with long time.

  11. JoaoPT says:

    Alix, do you believe 8 hours really? It’s more like 3 to 4… but then again Samsung’s phone might get 1,5 h…
    But I was talking engineering and design. Surely it wouldn’t be much of a compromise to put in a replaceable battery… maybe a 50cent more on parts and some mAh (milliamperes-hour) less. No big deal.
    My point is that the un-repleceable battery is a political thing.
    It has to do with aesthetics, design cleanliness, service charging and obsolescence. Like the iPod. Apple releases one every year or two years. And people are dying to buy the new one, just need an excuse…the battery is the excuse.

  12. smartalix says:


    If you believe so. I believe the many real engineering reasons. (Although I’ll give you a concession in the “political” arena on the real concern for preventing bad batteries from becoming the issue it has become with cell phones.)

  13. obsoftav says:

    Thanks to Oprah, Obama camp claims biggest crowd yet


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