Tim Cook says Apple wants to continue making the Mac Pro in the U.S.

nanoguy

Posts: 1,198   +20
Staff member
In context: Apple isn't the only company that is looking to get a pass on Trump's tariffs, but it looks like it could take the crown for the most persevering one. It's not without reason, of course, as the company is known for practicing high margins on products built with custom components and cheap labor, and stands to lose a lot more than the competition.

On Tuesday, Apple posted its financial numbers for the second quarter of 2019, and once again saw a bump in stock price even though it had no growth story to tell. A small detail, however, is that a 41 percent chunk of all earnings came from U.S. customers, which is easy to overlook when looking at the big picture.

During yesterday's investor call, CEO Tim Cook said the company is exploring options to assemble the new "cheese grater" Mac Pro in the United States, and continue the tradition it started with the previous, "trash can" version. Apple made a big deal of making the high end PC in America, but got burned in the process -- a shortage of essential parts that would hold the funky computer together left the relatively few that could afford it waiting quite a bit for it to be delivered.

Naturally, Apple wants to avoid repeating that embarrassing situation, so it applied for exemption from Trump's tariffs on essential components that it couldn't reliably source from places other than China. Tim Cook said "we’re working and investing currently in capacity to do so, because want to continue to be here. And so that’s what’s behind the exclusions. So we’re explaining that and hope for a positive outcome.”

While Trump denied the exclusion request with a high pitched tweet, Cook seems confident he'll eventually come around. After all, the whole point of requesting the tax waivers was to continue supporting the president's "Made in America" rhetoric. Even if he does reconsider, the 2019 Mac Pro is expected to start shipping this fall, so the first batches of the $5,999+ computer might not be assembled in the U.S. anyway.

On Friday, Trump said to CNBC "a man I have a lot of liking for and respect is Tim Cook, and we’ll work it out, I think they’re going to announce that they’re going to build a plant in Texas, and if they do that I’m starting to get very happy, okay."

Apple has been looking for other avenues it could take to avoid the effect of U.S. tariffs, such as moving some production outside of China -- a plan that Microsoft, Google, Amazon, and others are also considering. The key difference here is the Cupertino giant stands to lose the most, with some estimating as much as a 30 percent drop in profits in case China decides to ban its products, on top of having to cut into its margins for almost half of what it sells.

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Kashim

Posts: 160   +148
Don't kid yourselves boys and girls, Tim Cook and Apple couldn't care less where this $6000+ monstrosity is made. This whole "we want to make everything in America" nonsense is simply a PR stunt. The only thing they care about is money (duh, Tim Cook's job is to find more ways to make more money for his employer, so can we really fault him for doing what they pay him for?). Because the price tag on this thing is so ridiculous they could basically make it anywhere in the world and still make a profit. Of course they prefer to make it where they can reap absolutely the maximum profit margins for Apple shareholders.
 

Lew Zealand

Posts: 2,144   +2,583
TechSpot Elite
Cook would be a fool if he didn't play every card be possibly could. This is about business and doing what's best for profits. Apple's shareholders want ROI, not warm fuzzy feelings. Feel free to replace 'Apple' in that sentence with any other company's name.
 

psycros

Posts: 4,142   +5,768
Cook would be a fool if he didn't play every card be possibly could. This is about business and doing what's best for profits. Apple's shareholders want ROI, not warm fuzzy feelings. Feel free to replace 'Apple' in that sentence with any other company's name.

True, but Apple relies heavily on emotion to sell its products so its definitely a factor in their strategies. The perceived elitism of an overpriced, often impractical and/or unreliable product is an enormous part of their appeal. They're the Harley-Davidson of consumer electronics.
 
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Lew Zealand

Posts: 2,144   +2,583
TechSpot Elite
I get the impression that perceived unreliability of Apple products stems not from their actual reliability but from the price you need to pay up front. For that price, it should be perfect and of course they're not (butterfly KB, occasional screen and video-related recalls). Warning: anecdotes ahead.

I've used Apple products for a long time and now that I finally have a few years with non-Apple but similar products from the PC world, it seems you may get more for your dollar from Apple if you keep them a long time. Of course that's not readily noticeable when you're paying the big $€£ up front.

My older PCs:
2011 Dell Latitude - video flakiness
2014 Dell Latitude - works great
2015 i5 NUC - BIOS startup problems
2015 i7 NUC - BIOS startup problems

My older Macs:
2011 MacBook Pro - Radeon video flakiness, IG video OK
2011 MacBook Air - works great
2011 Mac Mini - works great
2012 Mac Mini - works great (gave a second one to my brother recently)
2014 MacBook Pro - works great

So 3 of 4 PCs have problems while 1 of 5 Macs does. I bought the NUCs and the 2012 Mini and received the rest as they've been discarded by other people, so it makes sense why I might see a higher failure rate, especially in 8 year old laptops. But I bought, used and cared for the NUCs and there's no excuse for failure in these machines. The Minis are simply more dependable in the long run.

OK, I have newer versions of the NUCs (1x 2016, 2x 2017) and we'll see if they fare better but my experience with similar Macs is that they typically go to e-waste from 10+ year obsolescence, not component failure.
 

psycros

Posts: 4,142   +5,768
I'll say something else, too: Apple understands UI like nobody else. They realize the futility and stupidity of trying to reinvent the wheel. Everyone stole the modern UI from PARC/Xerox and ran with it. Apple and Microsoft's designs were almost identical in the beginning..the only significant difference was Apple's single control bar vs Microsoft having one in each window. Now Microsoft is making everything about mobile even if it hurts them in their primary stronghold, the consumer desktop. With every new irrational change to the Microsoft UI people more people start to consider Linux or a Macintosh. There comes a point where a product is difficult to improve upon. In the 90's and early 2000's customization of UIs was a big thing. Might be time for Microsoft to consider allowing us to use the UI we're most comfortable with. They already released a Windows 7 VM for Windows 10. Why not go let people use that shell on the host OS? All of the underlying code is still there, as evidenced by the fact that all of the power user features are literally the Windows 7 versions. Better yet, they could release this:
 

Kashim

Posts: 160   +148
I'll say something else, too: Apple understands UI like nobody else.
Uh, yeah, and you're living on what planet?? The only people who think Apple's UI is something special are the hardcore Apple fanboys, nobody else. All Apple ever does is steal ideas from other people/companies, then they make it look fancier and pretend they invented it.

PS. - I kind of miss Steve Jobs (even though I always hated him for being an epic douche, and yes he did make a ton of money for Apple) and his outlandish claims like calling the iPad a "magical" device. hahah those were good times. :)
 

Lew Zealand

Posts: 2,144   +2,583
TechSpot Elite
Uh, yeah, and you're living on what planet?? The only people who think Apple's UI is something special are the hardcore Apple fanboys, nobody else. All Apple ever does is steal ideas from other people/companies, then they make it look fancier and pretend they invented it.

PS. - I kind of miss Steve Jobs (even though I always hated him for being an epic douche, and yes he did make a ton of money for Apple) and his outlandish claims like calling the iPad a "magical" device. hahah those were good times. :)

Yeah, we've all heard the stories. Simple fact is that Apple took an idea that Xerox started but shelved, improved it, and then implemented it on a consumer level device.

That's the genius— I don't mean Jobs, but the whole team (including Jobs) that Apple had and has. Only after they showed everyone else that the idea was *commercially viable* did everyone else jump on the windowed UI bandwagon. And that's only one example.

It's simple, Apple does design better than the other manufacturers. Is every design great? No, fool! Of course not, they F things up too on occasion. But are their designs overall much better than the competition?

Yeah, they are. If they weren't then people wouldn't buy them, especially at the prices they charge.
 

Mister_K

Posts: 2,159   +860
My older PCs:
2011 Dell Latitude - video flakiness
2014 Dell Latitude - works great
2015 i5 NUC - BIOS startup problems
2015 i7 NUC - BIOS startup problems

My older Macs:
2011 MacBook Pro - Radeon video flakiness, IG video OK
2011 MacBook Air - works great
2011 Mac Mini - works great
2012 Mac Mini - works great (gave a second one to my brother recently)
2014 MacBook Pro - works great

So 3 of 4 PCs have problems while 1 of 5 Macs does.

Maintaining an ecosystem which hardware does not differentiate much is a lot easier than making sure all the 918230912830981 setups of hardware function without fault.

It's all subjective on the person who built and uses the machines, the hardware chosen and so much more...
 

Lew Zealand

Posts: 2,144   +2,583
TechSpot Elite
Maintaining an ecosystem which hardware does not differentiate much is a lot easier than making sure all the 918230912830981 setups of hardware function without fault.

It's all subjective on the person who built and uses the machines, the hardware chosen and so much more...

And that is the point here. Each model year of the NUCs are a static design like the Mini, and use the same class of components as the Mini. You only add memory and a drive. And they are desktops, which means that they are not subject to knocking about like laptops are (which certainly could explain the laptop failures).

Yet I have a single failure in Mac Minis (BIOS/MoBo, a 2007 model) in the 6 I've used regularly since 2006, all with 5+ years service, including the failed one. The NUCs use standardized hardware like the Mini and the only physical difference between the two 2015 (Broadwell) NUCs is the CPU. Yet after 2-2.5 years service, both are giving me big problems. My 2016 (Skylake) NUC is in daily service so we'll see if maybe the Broadwell ones are just the lemons of the line.
 

Lew Zealand

Posts: 2,144   +2,583
TechSpot Elite
Must be why everybody I know and is working on a Macbook or IMAC is shitting on MacOS because of the UI. The MacOS desktop is one the best examples of what not to do.
Yet nobody I know is doing that, including my ultra-critical brother who's probably dropping Apple for Win soon for hardware reasons. And I support hundreds of Mac users.