American Electronics industry covers a wide range of products: computers, computer
related products such as printers, communications equipment, home electronics, commercial
and military equipment, and electronics parts and components for other industries
such as appliances, cars, toys.
Unlike other manufacturing industries where a high degree of human labor is required,
only a small proportion of the workforce is involved in the actually manufacturing
for the American Electronics industry. Instead, much of the labor such as engineers
and technicians is used in research and development to drive product innovation and
technology advancement. American companies typically manufacture their products
overseas due to the lower labor costs. So the requirement for American workers knowledgeable
in importing and overseas manufacturing does exist.
American Electronics Manufacturing
The manufacturing of American Electronics requires many parts and components from
other manufacturers. Many manufacturers of intermediate products prefer to locate
near the American Electronics manufacturers to facilitate the transport of goods
and co-develop intermediate products.
As a result, several areas of the United States have become technology centers. The
most famous is the Silicon Valley in California's Santa Clara valley close to San
Jose. It is the headquarters for many companies in software, computer hardware and
integrated circuits such as Intel Corporation, Apple Inc. and Google. The other
region is in the northeast near Boston, Massachusetts where there are major companies
involved in home electronics such as Bose Corporation and Boston Acoustics, Inc.
American Electronics Segments & Products
A large number of companies manufacture computers for home and business use in the
United States. There are a few large and popular brands. However, there are many
small local manufacturers who put together computers to sell within their towns or
cities. These are sold locally under lesser known brands.
A computer requires a handful of parts such a motherboard, computer processing unit,
hard disk drive, graphics cards, computer cases and power supplies. Most manufacturers
purchase these parts and assemble the computer rather than producing the parts by
Computer peripheral devices
Computer peripherals include external peripherals: printers, scanners, keyboard,
mice and internal peripherals: hard disk drives, modems, graphics cards, sound cards,
Communication devices (wireless phones & telephone switching devices)
Products in this category cover cell phones as well as for phones for the home and
equipment to run the systems.
Semiconductor products (computer chips or integrated circuits) - microprocessors
(computer central processing units) memory chips (store information)
Microprocessors and integrated circuits within this category are used to power other
American electronic devices. This segment also produces electronic parts such as
resistors, integrated circuits and capacitors.
Manufacturers take raw materials such as copper and silicon for the production of
these intermediate components. Manufacturing occurs in dust free rooms where workers
are required to wear gloves and gowns to prevent contamination of the components.
Most of the audio video devices in the U.S. are manufactured overseas even if they
are developed in the U.S. There are only a few companies in the U.S. which actually
produce the audio and video equipment in the U.S.
Although actually manufacturing employment is low in the U.S. for this segment of
the American Electronics industry, there is ample opportunity for those interested
in the import side of the business.
Military electronics (radar, communications equipment, navigation equipment)
Some consumer American electronics such as GPS are also part of this category. This
is a large segment due to the government's spending in defense. Many companies
become government contractors. Health care is also another component of this segment.
Production of magnetic and optical media
This involves the creation of blank CD's, DVD's and audio video magnetic recording
tapes. Most of the products are mass produced and provide intermediate components
to the recording and production studios. This is another area that could be an interesting
American Companies & the American Electronics Market
The United States used to dominate the American Electronics industry's consumer electronics
segment especially in the 1950's. A number of American companies became world leaders
after the First World War. Companies such as General Electric, AT&T, Westinghouse,
and American Marconi worked with the U.S. government to create Radio Corporation
of America (RCA). RCA became dominated the radio electronics for many years.
Then Came the Japanese
The Japanese became world leaders in the consumer electronics market in the second
half of the 20th century due to their government policies and R&D. They became so
dominant that by 1974, virtually all the American consumer electronics companies
By the 1990's computers began to merge with the consumer electronics segment. This
drove Apple into the American consumer electronics market with creation of the highly
successful iPod. By the 2010's Apple launched the tablet computer called iPad and
the competition continues today.
While it is true that consumer electronics from Asia still dominate the U.S. market
today, this is where the importer opportunities are opened to the U.S. importer.
The role that the importer plays is endless. Conduct further research the American
Electronics segment that you want to compete in.