The New York Times uses a discussion of the iPhone 4's supply chain as a springboard to discuss how rising labor, currency, and housing costs in China may result in increased prices for consumer electronics. Though the actual assembly of a product like the iPhone makes up only a fraction of its total cost, prices of commodity parts such as circuit boards and batteries also reflect fluctuations in labor costs. And while Apple's wide profit margins may provide some insulation from these pressures, other electronics companies that compete largely on price could be hard hit.
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