Should Apple resume product manufacturing in the U.S.A.?

MacDailyNews reader “Barry C.” thinks that “Apple is really missing the public relations gravy train.”

Barry writes: If Apple would publicly begin to manufacture in the U.S.A. again, Jobs could start another revolution. One that invests in U.S. high tech manufacturing. It’s never truly realized by consumers how all this great hardware is manufactured 100% in China.

With Apple’s high, yet worthy, profit margins, there is absolutely no reason they could not begin to manufacture here. Even a small trial factory, perhaps the the next iPod nano or just Mac accessories like cables. They would save in many ways that would offset the salary discontinuity between China and the US; time to market, shipping and fuel costs, shipping delays, increased product cycle, and ultimately, even more brand loyalty.

I think a public campaign with a new Apple manufacturing center based in the U.S. is a no-brainer!

So, what do you think, in this economic climate, with 9.5% unemployment, would creating American jobs help Apple to sell more products? Would Americans be more inclined to choose, for example, Macs if they were Made in the USA?

172 Comments

  1. my gut tells me they know exactly the part of the business they want – the design, and not manufacturing

    if there is a contract manufacturer in the US who would care to supply work, i’m sure they can find Apple’s phone number

  2. Once energy prices increase as we saw not long ago manufacturing will return to the USA. It will not be long before it will be cheaper to build here, even with the wage difference as a result of transportation costs. America’s manufacturing future likely depends on expensive energy.

  3. Hardware is a commodity. Software is more important.

    Apple writes most of their software in the USA, so they should get some credit for that.

    In contrast, Bill Gates wants to use underpaid foreign workers to design his software, so he campaigns for more H1B visas and opens software shops in Asia. And his buddy Paul Allen provided the funds to bail John Lee Malvo out of INS custody. Malvo became one of the D.C. sniper duo.

  4. No. American’s seem to suffer from a basic form of stupidity. They want to buy things for the cheapest possible price, but also want high wages for their jobs so they can buy lots of stuff. And they also want high rates of return in the stock market for their retirement fund (which requires companies to be highly profitable).

    Unfortunately, to keep prices down, while keeping margins up, since the cost of materials isn’t that flexible, the main point of flexibility is…wages. So, to be able to maximize margin, while having the lowest possible price means using the cheapest labor to make the product. This means manufacturing the product in 2nd and 3rd world countries.

    American’s are voting with their feet and their wallets by going in droves to Walmart instead of the local small supplier to save a dollar or two.

  5. ” It’s never truly realized by consumers how all this great hardware is manufactured 100% in China.”

    So it wouldn’t be realized that they paid double to build it here, either. No dice.

    I bought a Japanese part the other day. It was made in China.

  6. It’s probably cheaper to keep manufacturing in China and fix all the lemons.

    Sucks for the consumer though. All my Apple products except my 2nd Gen iPod tough has had to be replaced: 1G iPod touch, iPhone 3GS, Early 2008 Macbook Pro.

  7. “I think a public campaign with a new Apple manufacturing center based in the U.S. is a no-brainer!”

    ——–

    So because they’re making money, they should open up a plant in the developed world, for charity?

    Wow. There’s hell freezing over, and then there’s this. Wow. That is the most insane logic I’ve ever heard.

    Look numbnuts, its never going to happen, and even though many computers are built in TW (also a developed country) when the Chinese get smart enough the plant will be there (Shenzhen). And when the Chinese wages go up too much, the plant will move to Vietnam, Indonesia, etc.

    More importantly, why would you want to work in a factory that makes Computers. You’re a developed country. Act like it.

    Go to school, get a degree, and work in management.

    Oh yeah,I forgot, school in the US costs $120,000. Ouch.

  8. “America’s manufacturing future likely depends on expensive energy.”

    No doubt. But good luck getting there when the mere prospect of increasing YEARLY electric bills by $50 or $100 spooks all the politicians out of acting on climate. And this even as 99% of scientists warn of very bad effects from warming, and even 94% of economists agree reducing CO2 would save money in the medium to long term.

    People don’t want to pay one extra cent today, to have something better tomorrow. Whether it’s a liveable climate or a job, it makes no difference. Why save today when you can spend it on Chinese crap instead, and go broke tomorrow— it’s the American way.

    Meanwhile, as we twiddle our thumbs the Chinese are investing madly in renewables. No doubt within 10 years, they will solve the world’s energy problems with CLEAN, CHEAP renewable energy, even as they take all the jobs in that area too…

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