Apple Will Make Macs in the USA

The Citizen's Guide to the Future
Dec. 6 2012 10:47 AM

Apple Will Make Macs in the USA

Tim Cook Apple Macs
Tim Cook says Apple will move manufacturing of at least one line of Macs to the United States starting in 2013.

Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

In a pair of new interviews, Apple CEO Tim Cook said his company will start manufacturing Mac computers in the United States next year.

Will Oremus Will Oremus

Will Oremus is Slate's senior technology writer.

"Why can't you be a 'Made in America' company?" NBC's Brian Williams asked Cook in an interview that will air tonight. Cook began by noting that Apple does make the iPhone's engine in the United States, and the glass comes from Kentucky. Then he added, "We've been working for years on doing more and more in the United States. Next year, we will do one of our existing Mac lines in the United States."

Advertisement

When Williams asked how much more Apple products would cost if they were manufactured entirely in the United States, Cook replied, "Honestly it's not so much about price, it's about the skills, etc. Over time there are skills that are associated with manufacturing that have left the US. ... It's a concerted effort to get them back."

Cook made similar comments in a wide-ranging interview with Bloomberg Businessweek editor Josh Tyrangiel. "We're really proud of it," he said of Apple's plans to bring Mac manufacturing onshore. "We could have quickly maybe done just assembly, but it’s broader because we wanted to do something more substantial. So we’ll literally invest over $100 million. This doesn’t mean that Apple will do it ourselves, but we’ll be working with people, and we’ll be investing our money."

He didn't specify which Macs the company would make in the United States. But the news seems to dovetail with recent tech-blog rumors that some new iMacs are labeled "Assembled in USA."

Bloomberg Businessweek Steve Jobs cover

Courtesy of Businessweek

For years Apple has manufactured most of its products in Asia. Whether the shift to domestic production is a blip or the start of a trend remains to be seen. Rising labor costs in China have been making U.S. manufacturing more attractive in general in recent years.

In the Businessweek interview, Cook also addressed the Apple Maps debacle and the exit of Scott Forstall, the senior vice president in charge of mobile software. On the maps he was blunt: "We screwed up," he told Tyrangiel. But he insisted the move to bring maps in-house was a sincere attempt to make a better product, not just a strategic maneuver in a rivalry with Google. On Forstall he was long-winded and oblique, but his point was clear if you consider that he used the word "collaboration" seven times in his response. Some have chalked up Forstall's ouster to squabbles over skeuomorphism, but Cook's reply lends credence to the rumors that people just didn't like working with the guy.

NBC's interview will air Thursday night at 10 p.m. on Rock Center with Brian Williams. A preview is here. Businessweek's interview is the cover story of an issue that will be on newsstands starting Friday. For now, it's online here.

Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.

TODAY IN SLATE

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore

And schools are getting worried.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

The XX Factor

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.

Politics

Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

Why a Sketch of Chelsea Manning Is Stirring Up Controversy

How Worried Should Poland, the Baltic States, and Georgia Be About a Russian Invasion?

Trending News Channel
Sept. 19 2014 1:11 PM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM -30-
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
  Life
Quora
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 20 2014 3:21 PM “The More You Know (About Black People)” Uses Very Funny PSAs to Condemn Black Stereotypes
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 20 2014 7:00 AM The Shaggy Sun
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.