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back to article Apple's secret outsource: 'Even more software to be made in India'

A visit by Apple's CIO to India in January has resulted in some hefty software deals for two Bangalore-based firms, according to The Times of India. Apple's top internal software guy, Niall O'Connor, met with executives from India-based Infosys and Wipro on a visit to Bangalore from 29 to 31 January – and apparently some juicy …

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Anonymous Coward

We outsourced to Wipro...

We outsourced a relatively simple biotech application project to Wipro about four years ago. We never did get functional software and I had to put a team of our own engineers on the project to actually complete the application, and yes the requirements were well defined and documented.

Anonymous for obvious reasons.

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Anonymous Coward

After their

Problems in China it isn't a surprise they want to outsource to India.

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Anonymous Coward

The software development is being outsourced to India instead of China because the people doing the software development will be paid less in India than in China. Money talks!

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Quickest

There is no quicker way to destroy an IT company than to staff it with Indian labor. Just ask Sun, PeopleSoft, or Microsoft how good those workers were for their bottom line.

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It won't last long. Statistically, it actually costs more to send developer jobs to India, thanks to the poor quality products they produce. All the savings in wages will be eaten up by time spent on rewrites and bug fixes.

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Trollface

But this is Apple

People will overlook shoddy software if it comes in a pretty enough box.

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FAIL

Your "joke" might have been funny...

... if the article didn't explicitly state that the outsourced development work is for back-end software for use by Apple's internal corporate systems, such as retail.

If you're going to crack jokes in an article's comments thread, it's considered good form to actually read the fucking article you're commenting on first.

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Tax issues

Apple has a huge cash pile, and a lot of this cash is trapped outside the US, in the sense that the would have to pay tax on it if they move it back into the US, either to spend in some way (eg on wages) or return it to investors. One way to not pay taxes on some of it is to move jobs outside the US and pay the workers there from the cash pile. So Apple has a tax incentive to outsource jobs to India and other countries.

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Devil

@Michael Jennings

And to go further, Apple isn't the only company to do this, nor is the US the only country.

Would the US be better off if companies were able to transfer overseas profits in tax-free (or at a miniscule rate)? Would that make investing in the US less expensive?

But then no government sees your money as your money, rather as money they allow you to keep.

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Sure

Any moron can do SAP and Oracle crap in their sleep. India is incapable of producing they kind of desktopand mobile software Apple makes.

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Anonymous Coward

Disappointing

Outsourcing development swaps short-term cost-saving for long-term loss of expertise and quality. I hope Apple is not going down this route for anything too close to its operating system software or primary software applications. Frankly, I'm disappointed they are doing this at all. I've already seen the gradual slide into mediocrity that has resulted when other firms have taken this approach. Apple survives only by delivering innovative, quality software (the hardware is good, but doesn't really set it apart). I hope we're not seeing a return to the Sculley days when Apple was driven by bean-counters that nearly drove it off a cliff.

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Anonymous Coward

Seconded

If any of the user facing (or their underlying dependencies) OSX has gone to W***Pro Dell, HP and all other PC manufacturers should get together with Microsoft and crack the bubbly.

The _MAIN_ differentiating factor between Apple and the PC crowd - the OS and Apps will now be consigned to the bug-bin of the all familiar high quality production coming from those guys.

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Wak

Didn't take long for Cook to get co-opted by the globalists who hate American IT workers. They know there is no better way to destroy a productive industry than to flood it with Indian labor. It's the big surpluses American workers create that the bankers are afraid of. Apple closed their R&D in India in 2006 at Jobs' demand. In an MSN TV interview Jobs was asked why Apple didn't try to cut costs through offshoring. Jobs was adamantly opposed to it saying "That would be shortsighted - take care of your top line first - your people and products and the bottom line will take care of itself.

Apple still employs mostly American workers in the US for software. Apple is booming. You can bet Cook's speech AT THE GOLDMAN SACHS meet today had something to do with this. He's been co-opted by the bankers and this will be the beginning of the end for Apple. It may take the Indians 10 years to clean out Apple - that's about how long it took for them to destroy Sun and PeopleSoft. Microsoft is on the way down thanks to them. If Apple does a mass layoff and replacement to India, Apple will be a joke in 5 years. Tim Cook is a saboteur.

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Flame

If Apple Wants To Follow Dell

..then Indian-made software is the next logical step.

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Dell

I thik Dell should be shut down and all the $ given back to the shareholders.

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Please god

Dont let them anywhere near the OSX :o)

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Wipro software in your iCloud, losing all your data

"With many outsourcing customers now ready to pay for projects that integrate iPads and iPhones with business applications, the learning goes a long way in winning other projects."

I think people are going to actually miss MobileMeh.

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Devil

If OS X development occurred in India.

Would you know the difference? Would I?

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Wak

Don't worry they will ruin OS X like they have ruined everything else they touch. These people are delusional parasites who consume and destroy everything. They go where the big $ is, clean it all out, and ruin it. Bye bye Apple. It was really fun but now it's over.

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"A phone call to Apple's Bangalore office resulted in a no comment on Apple's current investment in India or on any planned future investment. However, the press officer did confirm that he too had seen the Times of India article."

It's probably the first he'd heard of it too!

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India

Google "Apple software logs out of India".

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Happy

If they are using Indian programmers, the Chinese also have it as well then.

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Happy

I'm not surprised...

they indians are pretty brainy if you ask me - Chandrasekhar for example? omg - neuron overload again!

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Silver badge

Some of them are very bright, in cases exceptionally so.

But you have to remember the goal of out-sourcing is almost always to save money, and you can guess what happens next... So the best of Indian programmers tend not to work for these houses but get much better paid jobs in the west (I know, I have worked with one in the USA).

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Hp can be understood but Apple?

Apple doesn't work with cut throat margins, their profit ratio is insane, machines are expensive but they run a good, bug free Unix desktop and cost of operating system added to the hardware.

And now we hear, operating system and Applications are coded by some Bangalore guys. I really respect and admire Chinese and Indian software scene but not the "outsource"guys. I know their way of work.

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Indians ranked 2nd last

Indians were ranked 2nd from last in an OECD student study - behind workers from Guatemala, Ecuador, and most countries in Africa. SECOND FROM LAST. Brainy? I don't think so. Delusional is more like it.

Companies ruined or almost ruined by imported Indian labor

Adaptec - Indian CEO Subramanian Sundaresh fired.

AIG (signed outsourcing deal in 2007 in Europe with Accenture Indian frauds, collapsed in 2009)

AirBus (Qantas plane plunged 650 feet injuring passengers when its computer system written by India disengaged the auto-pilot).

Apple - R&D CLOSED in India in 2006.

Australia's National Australia Bank (Outsourced jobs to India in 2007, nationwide ATM and account failure in late 2010).

Bell Labs (Arun Netravalli took over, closed, turned into a shopping mall)

Boeing Dreamliner ES software (written by HCL, banned by FAA)

Bristol-Myers-Squibb (Trade Secrets and documents stolen in U.S. by Indian national guest worker)

Caymas - Startup run by Indian CEO, French director of dev, Chinese tech lead. Closed after 5 years of sucking VC out of America.

Caterpillar misses earnings a mere 4 months after outsourcing to India, Inc.

Circuit City - Outsourced all IT to Indian-run IBM and went bankrupt shortly thereafter.

ComAir crew system run by 100% Indian IT workers caused the 12/25/05 U.S. airport shutdown when they used a short int instead of a long int

Computer Associates - Former CEO Sanjay Kumar, an Indian national, sentenced to 12 years in federal prison for accounting fraud.

Deloitte - 2010 - this Indian-packed consulting company is being sued under RICO fraud charges by Marin Country, California for a failed solution.

Dell - call center (closed in India)

Delta call centers (closed in India)

...

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Wrong

The OS and apps are all written by Americans. Google "Apple software logs out of India". Perhaps NOW the apps & OS will be written in India but I doubt it since India is unable to produce a working operating system anyone can sell. And Apple's quality standards are impossibly high for India to meet. If you want junk go with Windows, if you want something solid, go with OS X. Apple's desktop and mobile software will continue to be written in the US. The crap anyone can do like SAP and ORacle will go to India. Who cares.

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Anonymous Coward

"Emails to Wipro and Infosys haven't given The Reg any clarity on the issue either ..."

The First rule of doing business with Apple:

Don't mention that you are doing business with Apple.

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Anonymous Coward

Hmmm. Good luck

I used to work for a company which developed hardware with bespoke software, with a lot of customer involvement during the MMI development to give them exactly what they need. It is a long process, but ensures the customer is happy with what is delivered.

Senior management decided to outsource the software to India (not telling you who). They were at CMMI level 5, so our Management were only too happy for us to 'just' produce the outline spec and for them to develop it. They were at CMMI 5, what could go wrong?

Turns out that their idea of 'working with the customer to develop the software' consisted of us writing the 'outline' spec to the level of 'When this event occurs, draw a box on the screen of this size, this thickness lines with these exact radiused corners, of this colour, exactly here, with the following text, of this typeface.' They would then code it and test that 'when this event occurs check that a box is drawn on the screen of this size............etc etc'

Step forward a year. Every spec we delivered was rejected as not being 'sufficiently detailed' to start coding. In the meantime we had developed the whole system fully working and tested witht he Customer , from which we finished off the detailed specification.( yeh I know).

At this point the customer wanted to know why we were not shipping the finished product as they had seen it fully working, so we shipped the system with our development code. Apparently, apart from being late, the customer was very happy.

We spent £100Ks and never got a single line of code delivered from India. Having delivered the product, the last communication I saw from India was a rejection of our latest spec for 'not being sufficiently detailed'.

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Work

India is the land of conmen and charlatans. They are incapable of producing anything that works. It's a giant con propagated by loads of NASSCOM propaganda pumped into western media about what genisues they are. Every single company that ties this ends up throwing $ down the tandoori rathole. Every company these people touch dies in the end. EVERY ONE. India sees all the big $ western companies have in the bank and they just want to grab it. So they've created this myth that they are IT geniuses even though more software comes from Scandanavia than from India.

Google "Guest workers exposed chapter 3" to see what is really going on. Jobs is rolling over in his grave right now. The globalists have gotten control of Apple.

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Apple had started software center in India five years ago, but they closed down soon. Difficult to do business in India without crooked mind, but then Apple is already doing business in China

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Anonymous Coward

Explains why iOS is not only crap and looks as old as Nora Batty's sockings!

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Black Helicopters

Outsource Income Tax

Outsourced jobs reduce tax revenue. Our corporations should be taxed to make up for the shortfall. That is, they should pay an income tax for the outsourced jobs.

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Black Helicopters

'our' corporations....

whose?

These companies are sufficiently large that they can (and often do) up sticks to where the tax situation is most favorable.

I think you will find that many of 'our' corporations are Irish, or based in Luxemburg, or do business out of grand cayman etc...

Ultimately, any increase in tax will be passed on to the consumer.

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WTF?

The jobs are in India. Why should Indian workers pay income taxes to the US Treasury instead of their own government?

It wasn't that long ago that the US (and the UK in its turn) was the sweatshop of the world. Now it's some other country's turn and you're complaining?

If the US wants more tax revenues, they could try taxing those high earners who pay less tax than their cleaners. Even Warren Buffet has suggested this and he's one of the wealthiest people on the planet, so it's not as if there's a complete lack of will.

Indian programmers are only trying to compete by pushing a major asset: their low wages. (It's not as bad as it seems either: a low-wage nation usually has a low cost of living too. I live in Italy for similar reasons.)

Actions have consequences. Voting is an action. Globalisation is a consequence of past elections. Outsourcing is a consequence of globalisation. You voted for all this. If you don't like it, perhaps you might want to (cough!) "Vote Different" next time.

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Anonymous Coward

@Sean... lower taxes is a myth...

The problem that you see as an effective tax rate is a myth.

In the US, you have two tax rates. One for income earned in the year, and one for capital gains on investments that have been held for longer than a year.

So you take someone who is very rich. They earn $$$ from investments, and $ from annual salary. The bulk of their income is taxed at a much lower rate so if you look at their average tax rate, its much lower. Then you also have some losses that get added to the mix.

But here's why its a myth...

That capital gains rate is also the same for guys like you and me. The idea is to reward people for long term holdings and investments.

The difference is that I earn $ from investments and $$$ from salary. (Relatively speaking.)

So I end up paying a higher average tax rate than W. Buffet. However he still ends up paying more than I do in taxes.

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Megaphone

Um.

The real problem is a lack of patriotism, and I would guess that is due to the elimination of the draft. You couldn't pay a draftee from WWII enough money to have Japan or Germany make anything for a company they owned. They literally had blood and tears invested in their own country, today's CEOs have felt none of that, they don't see a reason in why they can't save some dollars by sending jobs to other countries, to them, the profits all spend the same. They never had to fight for their opportunity to make money, so like all spoiled children, they don't appreciate what they have and who they should appreciate. Plus, it's not like the CEOs live in the same neighborhood as their employees anymore, so firing 5,000 people really doesn't mean much, it kind of like a game to them, they have separated themselves from seeing the consequences their actions, they don't see the boarded up windows of their ex-employees homes, or the town devastated. That is what happens when you give yourself a salary 4000 times that of the standard employee, instead of the 4 to 40 times that it used to be before to 80's.

To sum up, outsourcing=greed, plain and simple.

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Childcatcher

But *our* corporations rely on *our* markets to sell the majority of their wares. How many plazzy tellys do they sell in the Caymans?

Charge an import tariff based on domestic/foreign content.

Tax increase passed onto the consumer? So what? No-one is forcing the consumer to buy the crap.

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Silver badge

What's "patriotism" got to do with it?

The day our governments started referring to countries in corporate terms (e.g. "UK Plc.") is the day I stopped giving a toss about my "country".

Tribalism isn't a good idea in any case, and patriotism is just tribalism in a different sweater.

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Bankers

That is exactly what the bankers DON'T want. We had a huge boom and tax SURPLUS in the late 90s and that meant no more need for the bankers or for borrowing. The bankers who control the governments of the world won't stand for surpluses. The #1 way they know they can reduce tax revenues is to send work offshore - and offshore to countries that will destroy the businesses through incompetence. The bankers are waging a war on success and personal wealth. The only way they can keep us in debt is to keep the productive people out of the economy. That is what this is really all about.

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Black Helicopters

Outsource Income Tax

Outsourced jobs reduce tax revenue. Corporations should be taxed to make up for the shortfall. That is, they should pay the income tax for the outsourced jobs.

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Anonymous Coward

Hmm...

I wonder why they are outsourcing rather than just setting up their own operation out there?

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Anonymous Coward

Worked with india more then once. I have yet to have it go well a single time.

Back in 2010, I actually got the luck to speak with a time traveling one. He apparently had 15 years of experience dealing with Windows 2003 server ...

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Vic
Silver badge

> I have yet to have it go well a single time.

Hmmm. I was hoping my experience was atypical...

I wrote a H.263 video codec for a processor developed by my then-employer. I was about to start coding the rest of the H.324 stack when my management put me in touch with a group in India. They told me they had substantially all of the bits I didn't, and could they please have access to my codec and one of my colleague's modem work?

This all sounded fine, and we agreed to work together. Within 48 hours of that agreement - I kid you not - the manager of this Indian team had made a formal complaint against my colleague and me because we hadn't sent every single thing we'd ever done to them.

I ended up writing the H.324 stack myself - it turned out that the Indian group didn't have what they had promised. They were simply lying to get access to my codec. I never did understand that - they were part of the same company, and they could have had it for the asking.

I've also worked with Indian groups in the US - and they were all excellent. But my experience with a group in India tallies worryingly well with the stereotype.

Vic.

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How dare they outsource low value IT jobs like TESTING?

THE HORROR! And obviously those orientals can't know a thing about IT! We do it so much better!

NO APPLE! NO!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: How dare they outsource low value IT jobs like TESTING?

I was doing some work for a client.

We wrote our own unit tests where we had both positive assertions and negative assertions.

(unit tests that not only tested results when correct data was presented, but also when incorrect data was present so we could show that the code failed cleanly )

We then sent the code off to an Indian contract shop for Acceptance testing.

In one set of cases, I would get e-mails from the testing group asking them for me to write a formal test plan for them.

In another I would get my code rejected. Why? because they wanted to test if the data coming from the database was incorrect. This test wasn't valid since we control the data in the database and it wouldn't be wrong. We then had to spend many hours explaining to them the difference between pessimistic code and optimistic code.

Roll forward a month. Same scenario, different tester.

I'm going to assume that everyone here knows what is meant by pessimistic coding and that it performs like shit.

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Vic
Silver badge

Re: Re: How dare they outsource low value IT jobs like TESTING?

> I'm going to assume that everyone here knows what is meant by pessimistic coding

It's also called "defensive coding".

> and that it performs like shit.

Take a look at Ariane 501[1] for an object lesson in why there's more to programming than simple performance...

Vic.

[1] There are many alternative examples, but that one was very visual in its outcome.

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Anonymous Coward

Wipro? Are they having a laugh?

Anon coz I'm working on a project that Wipro threw away in their own backyard.

They can't even deliver stuff in India.

And if the team of mostly useless developers they shipped in at a previous employer is anything to go by then all those devs in India will be producing really top notch software - Not!

They do have some bright devs who can actually think for themselves but these are a very small minority.

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Anonymous Coward

Pay half the money, five times over

I've seen the results of "cheap" development ... some of these clowns, even if they were working for free it would be overpriced.

Where should I start ... the VB code that defined a constant named PI ... with a value of 3.27? The help file ... With Every Single Word In Capital Letters? As required, the binary was supplied complete wtth the (undocumented!) VB source ... in a zip file ... with a password nobody was told. Just as well those passwords were fairly easy to crack even in those days (c 1996/97). Oh, and the calculations that application was created to perform took a long time ... with a progress bar slowly crawling across the screen ... yes, 99+% of the CPU time was going on the progress bar; disable it, the actual calculation was complete in a small fraction of a second, so no progress bar needed anyway.

It's just far too tempting for short-sighted managers to grab the lower price tag without understanding the much higher costs down the road. I've had this with customer support, too. Three have a third world third rate sweatshop to botch customer calls on the cheap (and boy did they botch mine, putting me on completely the wrong tariff and refusing to correct it when I pointed that out, during the same call: 'too late' to fix - so Retentions, the UK team, had to fix it instead, and give me a discount to keep me. O2 invested in putting the relevant form online instead, so I could do it myself properly without learning Urdu. (Which my mother actually speaks, but I'm not going to get her to translate!)

I keep hoping eventually companies this dumb/myopic/greedy will fail because of it, but I don't see any sign of Sanjay going on the dole just yet. Maybe the increasing numbers cold-calling "I am from IT, please give me control of your PC so I can take your money" is a sign the regular call-centre work's drying up, though...

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Finally an explanation for my leopard nightmare

So these guys were responsible for 10.5.0 rushed disaster which leaks RAM and cpu when aqua progress bar appears doesn't eject/ turnoff usb disks while shutting down, has half the opengl performance on same hardware compared to 10.4.11

All of above were reported to Apple using official channels, fix promised and never arrived until end of life.

It is amazing that this particular outsourcing scandal (yes, check their margin) is used to bad mouth China. Ask android users about quality of Chinese developed software, eg. Go Suite. Yes, their English may suck but code/ care doesn't.

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