Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Apple to Build Macs in the U.S. Next Year; CEO Says Company Will Spend $100 Million to Move One Production Line from China as Wages Rise There

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Apple to Build Macs in the U.S. Next Year; CEO Says Company Will Spend $100 Million to Move One Production Line from China as Wages Rise There

Article excerpt

Apple CEO Tim Cook says the company will move production of one of its existing lines of Mac computers to the United States next year.

Industry watchers said the announcement is both a cunning public- relations move and a harbinger of more manufacturing jobs moving back to the U.S. as wages rise in China.

Cook made the comments in part of an interview taped for NBC's "Rock Center," but aired Thursday morning on "Today" and posted on the network's website.

In an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek, he said that the company will spend $100 million in 2013 to move production of the line to the U.S. from China.

"This doesn't mean that Apple will do it ourselves, but we'll be working with people and we'll be investing our money," Cook told Bloomberg.

That suggests the company could be helping one of its Taiwanese manufacturing partners, which run factories in China, to set up production lines in the U.S. devoted to Apple products.

Research firm IHS iSuppli noted that both Foxconn Technology Group, which assembles iPhones, and Quanta Computer Inc., which does the same for Mac-Books, already have small operations in the U.S.

Apple representatives had no comment Thursday beyond Cook's remarks.

Like most consumer electronics companies, Apple forges agreements with contract manufacturers to assemble its products overseas. However, the assembly accounts for a fraction of the cost of making a PC or smartphone. Most of the cost lies in buying chips, and many of those are made in the U.S., Cook noted in his interview with NBC.

The company and Foxconn have faced significant criticism this year over working conditions at the Chinese facilities where Apple products are assembled. The attention prompted Foxconn to raise salaries.

Some Macs already say they're "Assembled in USA." That's because Apple has for years performed final assembly of some units in the U.S. Those machines are usually the product of special orders placed at its online store. With Cook's announcement, however, the company is set to go much further in the amount of work done in the U.S.

The Apple CEO didn't say which line of computers would be produced in the U. …

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