Anecdotally we’ve known for some time that North America has been reestablishing itself as the hub of the electronics industry. While China struggles to maintain its recent gains, simultaneously fighting to keep a hold on skyrocketing wages while placating its restless middle class, competitors are happily picking off manufacturing with enticements of legal protections and worker stability that the Beast of the East lacks the will or means to provide.
My old friend Gene Weiner has for years published a must-read newsletter each month in which he shares his thoughts and tidbits on the electronics manufacturing industry. And while I don’t typically editorialize about editorials, something Gene wrote bears further consideration:
What is with all the design freeware? Has the market changed so much that software has become a loss leader? And if so, on what products will CAD developers earn a profit, given that they don’t have hardware divisions?