Apple CEO Tim Cook announces plans to manufacture Macs in USA; says TV is ‘area of intense interest’ inside Apple

“In an exclusive interview with Brian Williams airing tonight at 10pm/9c on NBC’s ‘Rock Center,’ Apple CEO Tim Cook announced one of the existing Mac lines will be manufactured exclusively in the United States next year,” Ronnie Polidoro reports for NBC News. “‘We’ve been working for years on doing more and more in the United States,’ Cook told Williams. It was Cook’s first interview since taking over from his visionary former boss, Steve Jobs, who resigned due to health reasons in August 2011. Jobs died on October 5, 2011, after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.”

“Cook, who joined Apple in 1998, said he believes it’s important to bring more jobs to the United States. Apple would not reveal where exactly the Macs will be manufactured,” Polidoro reports. “‘When you back up and look at Apple’s effect on job creation in the United States, we estimate that we’ve created more than 600,000 jobs now,’ said Cook. Those jobs, not all Apple hires, vary from research and development jobs in California to retail store hires to third-party app developers.”

MacDailyNews Note: Set your DVRs: Brian Williams’ full interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook airs tonight, December 6th at 10pm Eastern on NBC’s Rock Center with Brian Williams.

“Given that, why doesn’t Apple leave China entirely and manufacture everything in the U.S.? ‘It’s not so much about price, it’s about the skills,’ Cook told Williams,” Polidoro reports. “Echoing a theme stated by many other companies, Cook said he believes the U.S. education system is failing to produce enough people with the skills needed for modern manufacturing processes. He added, however, that he hopes the new Mac project will help spur others to bring manufacturing back to the U.S. ‘The consumer electronics world was really never here,’ Cook said. ‘It’s a matter of starting it here.'”

Polidoro reports, “What’s next for Apple? Did Cook leave us with a clue? ‘When I go into my living room and turn on the TV, I feel like I have gone backwards in time by 20 to 30 years,’ Cook told Williams. ‘It’s an area of intense interest. I can’t say more than that.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Next-gen Mac Pro? With the line’s smaller production volume requirements, it’d be a good candidate and, this past June, Tim Cook stated that Apple is working on professional Mac for “later next year.”

Related article:
Tim Cook: Apple is working on professional Mac for ‘later next year’ – June 12, 2012

45 Comments

  1. I have been using Mackintoshes since they first came out. I am looking forward to getting an iMac in the near future that will have Made in the U.S.A. Inscribed on it. I understand that not everything can be made here. But would like to see more of it made here. And this is a good start, I hope of a good trend in that direction. Live Long and Prosper! Apple.

      1. Man waiting for a bus in London: “You got a light, Mac?”
        Other man: “No but I’ve got a dark brown overcoat.”

        Vivian Stanshall with the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band, sometime in the 1970s.

  2. Economic benefit for the country will be practically non-existent. The number of new jobs created by a production line of Macs will be likely only in the hundreds. The town that ends up hosting this new production line will likely feel the bump (if it is a small town), but otherwise, the actual value of this work will be a massive PR benefit. It is impossible to overestimate the significance of Apple being able to say “We make our Macs right here, in America!”. Let us see how Apple ends up using this very powerful PR weapon.

      1. What’s with the hate?? What part of my statement is not correct???

        That Apple is doing this means that the idea is feasible; in other words, that the combination of ultra-cheap and readily available skilled workforce in China, together with the expenditures and logistics of shipping the finished product back to the US, can be matched by much more expensive workforce in the US, but with significantly lower logistical expenses. Apple probably wouldn’t do it if the difference was significant (and I have no doubt that there is a difference, and it costs more to do it in the US).

        The point that I made (and that Mark perfectly understood) was that Apple, as the biggest company in the world (by market cap) can afford to lead the way, and challenge other American companies to set up manufacturing in America. The fact that it only brings a few hundred jobs to some (presumably) rural area is obviously of little significance; much more significant is that fact that it puts everyone else on the spot. In other words, the PR value of it.

        1. It is significant, your position is arrogant and based on assumption.

          First of all, you have no idea how any jobs this will lead to.

          To say it is insignifigant for the dominant consumer electronics manufacturer to BEGIN moving manufacturing operations back to the US is disingenuous and false. That IS a SIGNIFICANT development. (Remember: “it can’t be done”)

          1. You are STILL not reading what I’m writing:

            …”much more significant is the fact that it puts everyone else on the spot…”.

            Even if we assume for the moment I am wrong about the number of new jobs this will generate, there is absolutely NO WAY that number can be significant for the American economy in any meaningful way. Even if they bring 10,000 new jobs, this is still nothing compared to over 20 million unemployed Americans today. Once again: the total of new jobs brought in by Apple is INSIGNIFICANT (for the economy). The significance is that someone is bringing manufacturing back into America, and other companies, with manufacturing abroad, are being put on the spot.

            Which part here is arrogant???

    1. Assembled, not Made. Some of its parts will continue to come from China, Japan, Taiwan, Germany, etc. Supply chains these days are global. But it’s a start.

      My last “Assembled in USA” Mac was a dual-CPU Powermac. Sold it in 2008 and bought a new “Assembled in China” iMac.

  3. How about reinventing server blades with low power ARM and Apple’s new SSD. Rip out the remaining server business from Dell and HP. Consider a cloud server system drawing 1/2 or 1/4 the power of an Intel Windows PC box or old school server. Apple understands this industry and will be building several server farm around the world over the next few years. It will also be the media storage in the cloud for Apple’s new TV reinvention!

    1. Apple has been too wishy-washy in Enterprise over the years. They have abandoned the server market twice, not sure they will get a third shot. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.

      Bottom line be damned, they NEVER should have discontinued the Xserve. They lost all credibility in that market. Serious server users will not roll out the red carpet for Apple again.

        1. You are kidding right?

          This big rush to ‘the cloud’ and you think there is no future in the server industry?

          There has been a slow down in server uptake this year, but I’d hardly equate that to ‘no future’.

  4. “Cook said he believes the U.S. education system is failing to produce enough people with the skills needed for modern manufacturing processes.”

    I don’t quite understand that statement, they’re teaching high-tech assembly techniques in Chinese high schools now? Regardless of where Apple assembles their products, it would require specialized on-the-job training to produce them. I submit it is money: the lower cost of the Asian workforce who aren’t financing their federal government with 40% of their annual income.

    1. The Chinese have us by the short and curlies. A BBC news team toured a Huawei plant recently and were told by a female director that they employ 50,000 R&D engineers. This is a Communist run commercial company with massive reach into communication equipment worldwide. Can you think of one country anywhere else in the world that might be able to compete?

      1. Bah, the bulk of Foxconn’s workforce are farm girls who immigrate into the cities and assemble iPhones. I wager that Stanford, MIT, etc graduates can compete anywhere, anytime against anyone..the rape of the American worker by its own government is the culprit of the US inability to compete financially against China.

    2. Here’s the problem. Manufacturing doesn’t need MIT and Stanford graduates. Those guys are way overqualified. Manufacturing needs nuts and bolts industrial engineers with BS degrees. Engineers willing to design assembly lines as well as tinker with machines to make everything run more efficiently.

      But the US doesn’t produce many of these kind of engineers. Why? Because students don’t go into engineering. Students say the math is too hard or the other students are too geeky or they can’t make as much money as a doctor or Wall Street parasite. So instead students go into law or liberal arts or some other field that has a huge oversupply of graduates.

      So if America wants to blame someone for this problem it should look in the mirror.

  5. Perhaps it’s only a PR stunt, but it resonates with a story I read in The Atlantic earlier this week about GE bringing appliance manufacturing back to Appliance Park in Kentucky.

    Data is not the plural of anecdote, and all that.

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