Here’s something you don’t see very often on a laptop. “Made in the USA.” Apple critics who are concerned about the company’s Chinese manufacturing and the way employees are treated will likely be pleased to know that Apple is investing more than $100 million to bring a portion of its Mac production into the U.S.
Earlier this week, 9to5Mac reported on eagle-eyed iMac buyers who noticed that some of the computers are now sporting an “Assembled in America” etching. Today, Tim Cook confirmed that the company is planning to start manufacturing Macs on domestic soil.
“We’ve been working on this for a long time, and we were getting closer to it,” Cook told Bloomberg Businessweek. “It will happen in 2013.”
Apple will still rely on third-party manufacturers to actually build the computers, however. “We’ll be working with people, and we’ll be investing our money,” Cook continued. A few weeks back, DigiTimes claimed that Foxconn was looking into opening plants in the U.S. Coincidence?
Even though some portion of Mac assembly will transfer to the U.S. in 2013, the computers will continue to be assembled in China, as well. In an interview with NBC’s Rock Center (see below), Cook explained that the cost of assembling hardware in America isn’t as much as a barrier to entry as American’s general lack of manufacturing skills.
“Over time, there are skills that are associated with manufacturing that have left the U.S.,” Cook said. “Not necessarily people but the education of producing (stuff).” He said that introducing those skills to America will take a concerted effort, and he hopes that this move by Apple will help the effort.
“The consumer electronics world was really never here, so it’s not a matter of bringing it back, it’s a matter of starting it here,” he said.
Apple and its Chinese manufacturing were brought up several times during the presidential debates, often in the context of bringing those manufacturing jobs back to the United States. Cook’s full interview with Brian Williams will air tonight at 10 P.M. EST.
Via The Verge