Could President Trump be the catalyst for an all-American iPhone?

“On the back of every iPhone are engraved the words ‘Designed by Apple in California Assembled in China,'” Adrian Kingsley-Hughes writes for ZDNet. “But could China soon be replaced by America?”

“It’s no secret that President-elect Donald Trump isn’t happy that iPhones are manufactured in China rather than the US. During his campaign he pledged that he would ‘get Apple to start making their computers and their iPhones on our land, not in China,’ and it appears that this prompted Apple to look into the feasibility of shifting production,” Kingsley-Hughes writes. “According to sources speaking to the Nikkei Asian Review, Apple approached both Foxconn and Pegatron, the two companies responsible for manufacturing the iPhone, and asked the companies to look into shifting manufacturing to the US.”

Kingsley-Hughes writes, “Let’s put the politics of this matter to one side and examine what we know of the way Apple manufactures the iPhone, what it costs to make an iPhone, how many people are involved in the process, and what the costs increases would possibly be.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Regardless of where iPhones or any other complex products are assembled, some of the smartest companies are those whose business is developing/building/maintaining industrial robots.

Apple could make iPhones in the U.S.A. under President Trump, sources say – November 17, 2016
President Trump’s Made-in-America hurdle: Asia – November 16, 2016
Apple assembler Foxconn now has 40,000 ‘Foxbot’ robots working at factories in China – October 5, 2016
Apple supplier Foxconn replaces 60,000 factory workers with robots – May 25, 2016
Foxconn robots better, but still not precise enough to assemble Apple iPhones – December 5, 2014
Foxconn CEO disappointed with current-gen iPhone-assembling robots; next-gen ‘Foxbots’ in the works – September 22, 2014
Foxconn to deploy ‘Foxbot’ robots for iPhone assembly – July 7, 2014
Why Foxconn’s iPhone robots could create American jobs – February 2, 2014
Apple dives deeper into designing and inventing robots, other manufacturing tech – November 22, 2013
Robots made Apple switch to ‘Made in the U.S.A.’ Macs – December 11, 2012
Foxconn’s 2012 plan: More robots, no layoffs, zero suicides, new factories – November 22, 2011
Foxconn to replace some workers with 1 million robots within 3 years – July 31, 2011


    1. Why, yes, he certainly could!

      Eight long years of feckless malaise are soon to finally, blessedly end!

      Bloomberg News:
      The company confirmed Friday that it had been “likely” to move the work to Mexico in 2019 when its current contract with the United Auto Workers union expires. “We had planned to move the Lincoln MKC out of Louisville Assembly Plant,” probably to the Cuautitlan factory in Mexico, Christin Baker, a Ford spokeswoman, said in an e-mail.

      #MAGA! #PresidentTrump

        1. One more time:

          The company confirmed Friday that it had been “likely” to move the work to Mexico in 2019 when its current contract with the United Auto Workers union expires. “We had planned to move the Lincoln MKC out of Louisville Assembly Plant,” probably to the Cuautitlan factory in Mexico, Christin Baker, a Ford spokeswoman, said in an e-mail.

          1. You’re arguing two different things. Ford had no plans to move jobs to Mexico. They were considering moving production of a low margin car to Mexico while retaining jobs in the US for other production.

        2. Not exactly true Zink. What Ford said was that they weren’t closing any plants in the US. They were moving some of their small car lines, and the Lincoln MKC line to Mexico. This was part of their UAW agreement from 2015.

          They have recently decided to keep the Lincoln SUV line in Kentucky.

    2. U.S. dollar strengthens for unprecedented 10th straight day.

      The greenback has strengthened for 10 straight days against the euro, the longest rally since the shared currency’s debut in 1999. The dollar is also heading for the biggest two-week advance against the yen since that same year.

      A stronger dollar raises a country’s standard of living by improving its terms of trade, which more than offsets any negative head-wind effect.

    3. I will believe this “Made in America” ranting when I see the American people supporting with their wallets. Yes, it would be wonderful if more iPhones (and steel and cars and clothing and shoes and …) are made in America but the price will go up. Will Americans give up their Wal-Mart cheap stuff mentality to support their national pride with their actual cash? Will people buy iPhones made in America or will they keep buying cheap Android phones in even greater numbers? Will we sacrifice a great American company on the alter of “Made in America” when no one will buy their “Made in America” products because they are more expensive?

      My cynical view of this “America First” rhetoric is this: Americans will make any sacrifice to support their American Pride as long as it doesn’t affect them.

    4. Apple could try to build iPhones in the US but Trump is kicking out the Mexicans and there are no Muricans willing to take those jobs. iPhones will be too expensive and too shoddy to maintain much of a market and AAPL will plummet.

  1. As much as I think Trump is unfit to be President, I do believe one opportunity he will have will be to influence this happening via offering a cash repatriation quid pro quo deal.

    Before anyone gets too excited though, I think it would be a lot like the Mac Pro in that it would be extremely limited. It would also be mostly robots with few human jobs, and those robots would be Chinese.

    The real impact would be in a reduction in paying Chinese labor, not flying those iPhone from China, and shorter delivery dates.

    1. “It would also be mostly robots with few human jobs, and those robots would be Chinese.”

      Probably because you never heard a Chinese robot demanding $15.00/hour for repetitive unskilled labor or, more recently, the NotMyPresident protest crowd, as it is hard to show up for work in the morning when you sleep in from your all night of Soros paid protesting.

    2. But for Apple or any company it would take 5-6 years, or as long as it took for Apple to develop the A-Series CPU’s. Wall Street, Trump and most people are short term thinkers.

          1. Typical Lib loser.

            The source is an amalgam of videos dating back to the 1980s from NBC News, Oprah, and other sources. Infowars simply edited it all together. My credibility is perfectly intact. Yours, since you have none, is not.

            The point is clear (to those of us with brains): Trump is certainly not a “short-term thinker.” He’s been thinking about what he’s about to do for decades and fools like you, with your utterly transparent Alinsky-esque attempts at misdirection, aren’t going to stop it.

            A reminder: Under Obama, the Democrats have lost over 900 state legislature seats, 12 governors, 69 House seats, and 13 Senate seats. The Obama legacy is total failure. The Democrat Party is merely a regional party by all rational definition.

            The Republican Party controls the governor’s office and both chambers of the state legislature, a governing trifecta in 24 U.S. states vs. the Democrats with only 6 (Wash., Ore., Calif., Hawaii, Del., and R.I.)

            At the federal level, the Republican Party owns the governing superfecta:
            1. Presidency
            2. Senate
            3. House
            4. Supreme Court

            Enjoy the Trump administration and the coming decades of a conservatively-stacked Supreme Court. I certainly will.

  2. This is a good idea and I certainly hope to see more of a development of all inclusive products and services.

    Take war one of their core services that has been ingrained into their DNA (destructive arsenal) as another example. They do it constantly but people have noticed that while they use locally produced military the innocent civilians that are killed and tortured are foreigners. This president I think has what it takes to bring the war back home, use locally produced military and civilians, in an all national just them war.

    It would certainly be a boon to global security if they kept war to within their own borders. The fence should help that.

  3. if several states wanted a piece of the manufacture and assembly, and many got a piece of the action in return for some reasonable concession, creating a kind of manufacturing lily pond extending across, you know, flyover country, and remain affordable, even for an asian consumer, is something like that even possible. seems like the concessions would have to be incredibly generous not to mention everyone might insist on free ice cream and a snuggy.

    1. It has very little to do with concessions and everything to do with infrastructure.

      Apple is manufacturing Mac Pros and some iMacs in Texas. In a nearly fully automated plant.

      As Steve Jobs said about iPhone jobs “those jobs aren’t coming back”

    2. The so-called fly over states over don’t have the infrastructure, that will take many years to build, America by in large doesn’t believe in training non four year college people anymore like Japan or Germany.

  4. I think that has been their plan for a while. The automation of much of the assembly is already happening. If they can make a robot to dissasemble an iPhone they certainly can make one to assemble it completely. This would stop a lot of the leaks that have been going on as well.

  5. Apple most certainly could (through robotics) build factories here that would surpass the quality of the more “hands on” semi-robotic factories of China. The costs here, under a much more controlled robotic environment could possibly be as cost effective as in China.

    However, Remember Cook is the head of Apple. It was Cook that took Apple OUT of manufacturing and into outsourcing the manufacturing process. The reason was economics or more specific the world economy. With the economy in constant roller coaster mode, Apple isn’t left holding unproductive factories in downturns and do not have lay off and then rehire and re-start a factory as the economy picks up. This factory owning and lay-offs and re-hiring is a huge financial liability.

    IN the USA, Apple would have to convince other companies to build the factories and be the ones to deal with roller coaster economies. Apple adjusts to sales increases and declines in different areas, but to have to deal with the fluctuation in computers , iPhones, Apple TVs, iPad sales would be a financial drain. They are not be hurt nearly as bad in fluctuations and declines if they don’t own the production factories.

    Cook knew this and moved Apple in this direction under SJ, with his approval. Any factories owned by Apple are more or less for appearance sake, like a donation to a political party.

    1. “The costs here, under a much more controlled robotic environment could possibly be as cost effective as in China.”

      Wrong – the reasons for sourcing from China go way beyond just simple economics – look at what Foxconn has set up in China, veritable manufacturing cities:

      Plus, this article explains in detail that it’s about infrastructure, more than anything else – infrastructure which the USA lacks.

  6. This is the future (links below) for many, many jobs I fear. Sure, in time manufacturing can go home to the USA, but it will not be done by human hands.

    And for those who demand $15/hr to flip burgers….

    In time we’ll see cab drivers (uber too) disappear, truck drivers, delivery drivers, train conductors….and somewhere along the way pilots too could be replaced by AI.

    There is not much anyone can do to stop this not even Donald T.
    These are business decisions that benefit the stockholders and the rest of the business owning elites. Aren’t those the ones who usually benefit from Republican control?

    I think it is going to be a fascinating (and strife filled) transition to watch as it unfolds over the coming few decades.

  7. Trump is a disaster for Apple and the world. It’s going to get so much worse. I am disgusted and see this as a wake up call for all sane non-bigoted people. Ironically, his supporters will be the ones hurt most. Nauseating POS.

    1. Aura baby, recite with me the following aloud, it’s great fun!:

      “I, Donald John Trump, do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, so help me God.”

    2. A Little is missing it’s Chicken somewhere. Must be tiresome to be so liberally negative and pessimistic all the time. I’m with Tom Hanks and hope for the best while not blind to the potential, but not necessarily or inevitable, worst.

      I think the thing that might be eating most libs lunch is Trump might actually do a good job which would be an anathema to the next election and Dem chances to get back in. (Proviso: I didn’t vote for Trump.) Liberals can be their own obnoxious off-putting & “sense of superiority” enemy – a turn-off to many as their message is lost because of their own hubris.

        1. Hanks has a much better attitude than most. He may be hedging his bets but I’ll resist the urge to be pessimistic about his motives. You too can afford to be more generous. After all, you got your Trump wish. (But you know what they say about wishes?) 😉

    3. Here is the real world: I live in an area of severe generational poverty that covers several states. I work WITH generational poverty families on a volunteer basis. IN the last 3 years I have had many conversations of severely cut welfare, and severely cut medicaid. All the while Iran gets billions and billions of dollars in cash.

      I work with salaried democrats and volunteers who are overwhelmingly republicans. I sure makes me think that democrats won’t work unless they get paid. I am serious. Obama (and Hillary as his legacy) hurt the folks he and she were counting on most. You know Obama and Hillary in their ideology; I (and the generational poverty folks) know them in reality. Trump is at worst a shifting of the painful load.

      For your info, MOST of the gen. pov. folks would rather have a job than a handout. Obama/Hillary never focused on this; at least Trump has.

      Keep your ideology but it won’t feed you; only lie to you.

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