Import From China Business

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A practical guide for starting a small business

American Electronics

Overview of American Electronics Industry

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


Computer peripheral devices

Communication devices (wireless phones & telephone switching devices)

Semiconductor products (computer chips or integrated circuits) - microprocessors (computer central processing units) memory chips (store information)

Consumer electronics (televisions & audio equipment)

Military electronics (radar, communications equipment, navigation equipment)

Production of magnetic and optical media

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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 have vanished.

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.