Apple to invest in U.S. manufacturing; Foxconn, too

Bringing manufacturing back to the U.S. was a hot topic during the presidential campaign earlier this year. Now, it seems, the world's highest-valued firm is going to start doing just that—at least with some of its products. In a lengthy interview with BusinessWeek yesterday, Apple CEO Tim Cook revealed that he plans to sink $100 million into domestic manufacturing.

The statement came in an otherwise innocuous response to an interview question. BusinessWeek asked what it would take for Apple to go back to building things in the United States. Cook responded with the following:

It's not known well that the engine for the iPhone and iPad is made in the U.S., and many of these are also exported—the engine, the processor. The glass is made in Kentucky. And next year we are going to bring some production to the U.S. on the Mac. We've been working on this for a long time, and we were getting closer to it. It will happen in 2013. We're really proud of it. We could have quickly maybe done just assembly, but it's broader because we wanted to do something more substantial. So we'll literally invest over $100 million. This doesn't mean that Apple will do it ourselves, but we'll be working with people, and we'll be investing our money.

As we noted earlier this week, some of Apple's latest-generation iMacs are already rolling off U.S. production lines. The machines have "Assembled in USA" etched on the back.

In related news, Bloomberg reports that Foxconn—unarguably Apple's biggest supplier—also plans to expand U.S. manufacturing. Foxconn spokesman Louis Woo told the site, "We are looking at doing more manufacturing in the U.S. because, in general, customers want more to be done there." Woo went on to add, "In addition, any manufacturing we take back to the U.S. needs to leverage high-value engineering talent there in comparison to the low-cost labor of China."

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