Silicon Valley plant named as Apple manufacturer

“Apple has listed a Silicon Valley facility as a location where the California company’s Macintosh computers are assembled,” The Economic Times reports.

“The addition to Apple’s list of final assembly plants came less than two months after chief executive Tim Cook vowed to shift some computer manufacturing from China to the United States to catalyze domestic high-tech production,” The Economic Times reports. “A Quanta Computer Inc. operation in Fremont, California, not far from where Apple got its start, joined a roster of ‘final assembly facilities’ heavily weighted with plants in China.”

The Economic Times reports, “Taiwan-based Quanta was listed as operating Macintosh computer and iPod MP3 player assembly plants in China.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
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

47 Comments

  1. … there, but some is better than none. Will it be “good for Apple”? Or, “good for AAPL”? Directly, maybe not. How about when it comes time to pressure an overseas “partner”! A little leverage can go a long way, then. Diversification is a Good Thing.

    1. If you don’t do [Insert Random Grievance] then we’re gonna move our production from your Fujian, China plant to your Fremont, California plant. That’ll show you.

      1. Except, Apple’s security problems historically haven’t been with the assembly plants, (where security is apparently very good.) but rather with the scores of component part manufacturers.
        I don’t se how one plant is going to fab the hundreds of different components that go into making one of Apple’s devices.
        More likely a move to assemble one of Apple’s not so demanding products (like TV) US product in the US.

    1. @Jean Poole

      I agree if they do away with the Unions then Apple’s profit will be better.— and if they cut your salary in half your companies profit will be better too. Count me in. When do you start?

      1. Recent history has shown the willingness of corporations to move work elsewhere if employee costs go up to much.

        That being said, I also believe that many corporations have to big a pay differential between the highest and lowest earners.

        I wish there was an obviously easy answer, but I don’t think one exists in THIS world.

    2. JP, do you know how many labor hours go into the assembly of an Apple device? Any Apple device? If not, then you are just mindlessly parroting your talking heads rather than independently applying a bit of logic to the situation. Apple has invested heavily in automated manufacturing equipment and processes. This has the potential to greatly reduce the impact of labor costs for high-end products, thus allocating higher priority to other factors. Apple is doing this for a reason, not just to make you and your ilk look foolish.

      I have heard this “end unions” refrain over and over from you and others on this forum, and it is ridiculous. Unions are not the root of all evil, and eliminating all unions will not fix everything. Unions were formed for a reason – corporate abuse of employees – and they still have a purpose in the checks and balances of power between corporations and labor. I freely admit that some unions eventually gained too much power, and abused that power. But that does not mean that all unions should be abolished. You claim to be a champion of democracy, and unions are a valid expression of democratic principles. Who are you to advocate the elimination the Constitutional rights of other citizens to group together to advocate a common cause?

      You must have a simple mind to cling so tightly to simple (and erroneous) solutions.

      1. kingmel – Have you ever run a company? I have. A union would have added around 25% to my operating costs. One solution – move production to another country. Another solution – close down and retire. Guess which one?

    3. Yes, let’s revert to the good old days of slavery, if we can get around those pesky state laws about child labour, minimum wage, health and safety, unfair dismissal, anti-discrimination, working time and the other irrational demands made by those birdbrained factory workers – we’ll be sitting sweet. Go Apple!

      Dumbass!!! … with three, I repeat three exclamation remarks.

      I’ll provide a link for you, but I doubt that you have the aptitude let alone the propensity to educate yourself.

      http://eh.net/encyclopedia/article/friedman.unions.us

    4. Yes, let’s revert to the good old days of slavery, if we can get around those pesky Californian state laws about child labour, minimum wage, health and safety, unfair dismissal, anti-discrimination, working time and the other irrational demands made by those birdbrained factory workers – we’ll be sitting sweet.

      Go Apple!

      You Dumbass!

      I’ll provide a link for you, but I doubt that you have the aptitude let alone the propensity to educate yourself about social maters, even though your moniker declares you to have a sense of the absurd.

      http://eh.net/encyclopedia/article/friedman.unions.us

      There are plenty of other related videos about child labour and I’m sure you will find solace in some of the comments from people who think like you.

  2. Wouldn’t it have been nice if Tim and Peter commented during the results call on how moving manufacturing to higher-wage locations would put pressure on margins? That might have taken some sting out of the guidance.

    1. At this point, it appears that Apple is only shifting a very small amount of assembly work to the U.S. My guess has been the Mac Pro, since it is a low volume and high margin device. In any event, this initial move will not have a material impact on Apple’s profits. Therefore, it would not make sense to mention it in the conference call. There is very little that Apple could have said to change the reaction of the stock market. It was driven by institutional investors.

    1. It certainly was inside the borders of SV as far back as the early 80s when I was working at Apple and later at Sun, both of whom had facilities there, and personnel who sometimes switched between Fremont/Milpitas and Cupertino/Mt. View/Menlo Park, depending on project conditions.

    2. sure its just Wikipedia, buuuuttt…
      “Fremont became more industrialized in the 1950s and 1960s. A boom in high-tech employment in the 1980s to the late 1990s, especially in the Warm Springs District, caused rapid development in the city and linked the city with the Silicon Valley. The Apple factory where the first Mac computer was manufactured was located in Fremont (production ceased in 1993).[15] Other semiconductor and telecommunications firms soon opened in the city, including Cirrus Logic, Asyst Technologies, Mattson Technology, Lam Research, Premisys Communications, and Nextlink California. Approximately 750 high tech companies had offices, headquarters or production facilities in Fremont by 1999. These firms included fifteen of the top one hundred fastest-growing public companies in the San Francisco Bay Area and eighteen of the top fifty companies in the East Bay”

    3. Neither is San Francisco, where plenty of tech is getting done.

      BTW- Fremont is the home to the Tesla Plant. The Former GM/Toyota plant could have a very bright future.

  3. I hope that it works out well. At least it’s not a story about America losing more jobs overseas. I understand that the simple assembly jobs can be done overseas much cheaper but perhaps other jobs can be moved back to our shores? Maybe it’s just for good PR? Maybe it really makes good business sense? But at least it’s not a negative story. And Apple has had more than its share of them lately. It’s a start, and maybe there will be more in the future? I certainly hope so.

  4. I would rather them make it in china. how many jobs is this really going to produce? As an american who has worked in assembly plants I can say that the average american worker is completely worthless. The products made in china will be superior to the same production process in the US. I only hope that Apple completely automates the plant so no humans actually touch the product. Americans in large factories produce low quality high cost crap.

    1. I think what you meant to say American workers are completely worthless AS FACTORY WORKERS.

      Americans workers are, for the record, the best goddamn workers are on the planet. We work hard and are unmatched whenever work involves creativity, engineering, and innovation. The only jobs American workers don’t excel at are monotonous and repetitive jobs better done by machines invented, built, and maintained by American workers.

      1. No, he said what he said. Please don’t make excuses for him. Even though I think you mean well. We are as good or better than anybody out there. Skilled or unskilled. If you put Americans in a situation as they are in China where they are working for poverty wages, Americans will work just as hard as Chinese. After 100 or so years we have put our people in a position that they are not like the Chinese poor for the most part. But make no mistake, when push comes to shove Americans can do piecework just as fast as anyone anywhere.

            1. Your denegration of Southern folk indicates that you are both a hypocrite and harbor prejudice. Your leftist leanings explain your arrogance and ignorance and selrighteousnes. All in all, you are a pussified self inflicted moron.

            2. I embrace the multiplicity of American peoples who respect each other in words, actions and deeds. I oppose those traits that some show that are disrespectful, crude and hurtful. Your own preference to watch idly by while women are being put down is intolerable and shameful.

            3. Nothing wrong with my behavior father, and you will have to deal with me. Sorry, but you started this and I intend to finish it. But not yet. I’m saving the best for last.

              Priestly Pricks Ponder Partners Picking Plums Piled Precariously Planar Pulling Pompous Precipitous Plagiarizers Puking Putrid Potty Porridge Pretending Polycultural.

              I and I alone am responsible for my words and deeds. I blame no other for my folly or misfortune, but let’s be clear, Everyman would love to live my life.

              I am in debt to no one and I can pay cash for everything I need. Some days I come here to torment you for sport.

            4. Your words are shit, because your heart is empty.

              Therefore, you resort to platitudes, and because you are unoriginal in your thinking you words also lack technical merit. So, shove it up your ass, k cupcake?

            5. Your confessions have been heard my son and you are forgiven all of your sins!

              Oh snap! I can’t forgive you because I am not a priest and further more, I don’t believe we need them. You are responsible for all your behaviour and need to deal with it.

  5. Being educated as an Industrial Engineer at Auburn, I would seriously doubt that Tim Cook would have piecework in any Apple manufacturing facility US, China or Taiwan. Tim probably learned about the piecework system in manufacturing history class.

    Today it is all about FLOW to the customer demand and Tim is a supply chain genius at it. Having your assembly lines on the other side of the world does not make much sense. The accountants, who only looked at the part costs made a critical mistake. The logistic costs of getting the right parts, in the right quantities at the right time to the customer from thousands of miles away is daunting. So most manufactures send boatloads at a time on a six week cruise. This is not good FLOW. It creates quality issues, leadtime issues, inventory issue and the like. Apple currently sends your products via airplanes. Just track them via Fed Ex. This ain’t cheap either!

    As Thomas mentioned, moving parts to a cheaper labor market is a short term solution. Remember when lots of products were made in Japan, then Mexico….later China and soon India. As these countries develop an economy the benefits due to low wages start to disappear. It is happening now in China.

    But to compete, we need to have manager’s and engineers who need to know how to design the parts and equipment, as well as manage today’s manufacturing environment. Tim stated this in his interview at Grand Central Apple Store. Our current educational system is not supplying enough of these trained people. This is not about training people to be good at assembling.

    Bringing manufacturing back to the US is the right thing to do but, it will be very difficult to do quickly. And the shop floor will probably bear little resemblance the current facilities in China and Taiwan.

    Even though we did our best to kill it off during the past two decades, I truly believe America can regain its manufacturing prowess. But it won’t happen by using uneducated workers.

    I have visited many different Chinese and Taiwanese manufacturing plants. The people there do physically work hard. But thee production and management system inhibits their physical efforts.

    The US won’t beat them by working harder…we have to work smarter!

    1. It’s not just labor costs but availability of sufficient skilled workers and getting them to the factory. It’s also about the regulatory environment of building factories. When Apple need to expand iP production rapidly, it had to find trained workers already in place. Fox Conn had them. Factory dorms, no need for long commutes and traffic jams. The only way Apple could do this in the US is for a large university with a lot of campus housing to shut down. Can you imagine getting $100 K workers in and out of a factory in Fremont. Parking needed for 50 to 75K cars or it would need its own commuter trains.

      1. You nailed it! That’s why I laugh when everyone says they need to bring all these jobs back to the US…NOW!

        I really believe Apple’s next innovation will be in very advanced manufacturing to minimize the need for the repetitive and tedious job of assembly. However, to do this requires highly trained workers…to design and monitor those advanced manufacturing processes.

        The problem is where are they going to find them! I don’t envision the US factories being a clone of Fox Conn.

  6. Maybe Apple leased a small portion of the old NUMMI auto plant in Fremont, for the space. Eventually (if this venture works out), Apple could take over and convert more of the available space. I believe Tesla Motors is using a portion of the plant already, so perhaps a “next big thing” of the future will be an Apple-branded electric car, with Apple-designed “driver interface.”

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.