Robots made Apple switch to ‘Made in the U.S.A.’ Macs

“Apple switching some of its products to being manufactured in the USA is not just a publicity stunt,” Patrick Frye writes for The Inquisitr. “While, in the short term, the effects of globalization have allowed for greater profits by outsourcing over time the economic playing field will begin to flatten, the lower cost of localization plays a factor in Apple’s decision to move some manufacturing back to America, but, in the long term, robots will play a bigger role.”

“As cheap as a Chinese assembly worker may be, specialized manufacturing robots promise to be even cheaper,” Frye writes. “The most valuable part of a computer, smartphone, or tablet is the motherboard loaded with microprocessors and memory, and these parts are already largely made with robots.”

Frye writes, “The movie iRobot [sic] featured an economy rocked by the effects of robotization. Though only a fictional movie, the next industrial revolution will likely feature very high company efficiency along with low employment. Fortunately, this only applies to jobs involving automation. Most jobs will still require a human touch, but it’s possible this could change over time as AI research progresses.””

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: I, Robot ’twas a book before it was a movie and a much better endeavor, at that.

Related articles:
Will Apple spark a U.S. manufacturing renaissance? – December 10, 2012
Why Apple is bringing manufacturing back to the United States – December 6, 2012
Apple CEO Tim Cook’s pledge to make Macs in the U.S. seen adding 200 jobs – December 8, 2012
Apple’s ‘Made in USA’ computer likely to be Mac Pro – December 8, 2012
Apple’s return of Mac production to U.S. next year to go well beyond mere assembly – December 7, 2012
Why Apple is bringing manufacturing back to the United States – December 6, 2012
Apple CEO Tim Cook announces plans to manufacture Macs in USA; says TV is ‘area of intense interest’ inside Apple – December 6, 2012


    1. The robots were to solution to the problem: How do we get key parts of our production out of China (where patents are not respected)? And assembly in the USA with robots is a first iteration solution. Maybe a better solution will come along later.

      just my $0.02

      1. The title of Asimov’s book comes from a short story by Earl and Otto Binder that first appeared in 1940. That story was adapted into a 1964 episode of “The Outer Limits.”

        1. Yes, i read the Walt Isaacson bio too.. I know that Steve was involved with and set up the manufacturing plant.

          My comment was regarding the “CLIP” (i.e. video) not the manufacturing plant.

        2. This is vintage early 1990s, and several of the ckt boards shown are PowerMacs not the original Macintosh, also Steve was not there. These plants were standard Apple factories at world wide locations in the US, Hong kong, and Ireland. I worked for Apple at the time in the eng. department. A typical plant with 8 surface mount machines employed around 1500 people and made close to 4 million Mac’s a year.

  1. “I, Robot” was a collection of science fiction stories written by Isaac Asimov published in 1950. That was considerably before any tv shows or the movie. I don’t remember any Twilight Zone episode based on I, Robot, but the movie I, Robot really only is a riff on Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics. While the movie is mostly mindless action, which I love, it certainly touched on issues related to the effect robotization would have on economy. Displacement of labor. Decay of the cities. Concentration of wealth in the hands of the technology rich few. An even more scary.
    How can you see a self directed AI controlling the manufacture and control of legions of robots and sending those robots out to wreak havoc on a clueless world and not see it as a metaphor for MS and a crazy demented CEO?
    That was one scary movie!

  2. Funny fact:

    The Mac and the NeXT computers were supposed to be assembled mostly by robots.

    In fact, in the case of NeXT, one of the main problems with that was that Steve jobs didn’t like the color of the machines, and painted them differently, against the manufacturer’s advise.

    The additional paint layer decalibrated the high-precision machines and the assembly line went to hell.

    I’d say Steve learned a valuable lesson then. Not even Steve Jobs was perfect.

  3. This author would be amazed at the stuff they talk about in business school. Lol Sure, manufacturing in the US is more capital intensive which makes US workers much more productive. You hse more equipment here along with better trained workers. That’s always been the case. The truth us that labor is a very small part of the cost of manufacturing. Now that global oil prices remain relatively high, the costs of transporting things back from low wage countries eats into any savings. That being said, I think it has more to do with PR in this situation.

  4. Dumb people decried the loss of simpler jobs to “China” and “Mexico” and some now decry loss to “robots”, when they should use the term “automation”, and realize it is automation which will allow our citizens to have a chance at useful jobs.

    When was the last time you saw an actual typewriter?

    People who don’t want to keep up and just bitch are going to be weeded out of the gene pool. No one deserves a job for life, let alone a job that requires no skills, just because of laziness.

    We were a nation founded on freedom of personal actions and freedom to engage in commerce and if we are to grow as a nation, commerce & personal freedoms must again be at the forefront of the philosophy of how we grow.

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