BusinessWeek has posted a lengthy interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook, discussing everything from the recent management shifts at the company, to the Maps fiasco and the convergence of OS X / iOS. On the topic of manufacturing, something that has been hotly debated in recent months, Cook had some juicy details to share as well. Namely, Apple will move some Mac manufacturing to the U.S. starting next year.
He didn’t reveal specifically which of the Mac lines will be manufactured in the company’s home country, but said their plans go beyond just assembly -- as hinted by a recent iMac teardown. Cook revealed that Apple has been working on this for a long time and is close to making it a reality. Manufacturing won’t be handled directly in-house, but it will be done in the U.S. and they’re investing over $100 million to make it happen.
Cook says that Apple has a responsibility as an American company to create jobs. "I don't think we have a responsibility to create a certain kind of job, but I do think we do have a responsibility to create jobs,” he said, noting that the measurement of job creation shouldn’t be limited to the number of employees working directly for them. There’s the thousands of developers making money from iOS apps, while certain parts of the iPhone such as its processor and glass are also made by third-parties in the U.S.
Moving some of its production back to the U.S. is another step in that direction and certainly a welcome one from one of the biggest companies in the world. It will be more expensive for Apple to manufacture in the United States, but given their healthy margins and cash reserves, they certainly can afford to take the financial hit in exchange for some goodwill. It remains to be seen if the move will ultimately affect prices for consumers.
Apple is not the only company taking steps into U.S.-based manufacturing. Back in October, Chinese PC manufacturer Lenovo announced plans to build some laptop and desktop systems in the U.S.
Below is a video excerpt from a separate interview from NBC’s “Rock Center” airing tonight at 10pm EST where Apple CEO Tim Cook will touch on the same topics in detail.