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Foxconn Planning U.S. Expansion Alongside Apple's Push for Domestic Mac Production

Just as Apple CEO Tim Cook has revealed that Apple will be bringing some Mac production back to the United States next year, Bloomberg reports that Apple's manufacturing partner Foxconn is seeking to expand into the country.
“We are looking at doing more manufacturing in the U.S. because, in general, customers want more to be done there,” Louis Woo, a Foxconn spokesman, said in a phone interview. He declined to comment on individual clients or specific plans. [...]

“Supply chain is one of the big challenges for U.S. expansion,” Woo said. “In addition, any manufacturing we take back to the U.S. needs to leverage high-value engineering talent there in comparison to the low-cost labor of China.”
Neither Apple nor Foxconn has confirmed that the two companies will be working together on U.S. Mac production, but Cook noted that Apple's $100 million investment in domestic production would involve "working with people".


The moves by Apple and Foxconn to bring production to the United States demonstrate an evolution of the thinking held by Apple until very recently, which comes from a perspective that the U.S. labor force and supply chain simply aren't set up to handle the kind of nimble consumer electronics mass production available in China.
For Mr. Cook, the focus on Asia “came down to two things,” said one former high-ranking Apple executive. Factories in Asia “can scale up and down faster” and “Asian supply chains have surpassed what’s in the U.S.” The result is that “we can’t compete at this point,” the executive said. [...]

“The entire supply chain is in China now,” said another former high-ranking Apple executive. “You need a thousand rubber gaskets? That’s the factory next door. You need a million screws? That factory is a block away. You need that screw made a little bit different? It will take three hours.”
With Cook's announcement regarding domestic Mac production for 2013, the company is clearly testing the waters, perhaps with a low volume product like the Mac Pro, but the company faces major challenges if it wishes to bring operations on the scale of iPhone production to the United States.

Top Rated Comments

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26 months ago

It might work for a while. Then unions will come in an destroy it and they will go back overseas.

Unions won't have to come in if the company treats it's people well.

Most workers don't want the hassle of dealing with union rules and fees. However if the employer treats it's people unfairly, then a good, strong union may be needed to secure bargaining rights for workers. Individual workers can't deal with the powerful, wealthy people at the top of corrupt businesses.
Rating: 20 Votes
26 months ago
It might work for a while. Then unions will come in an destroy it and they will go back overseas.
Rating: 19 Votes
26 months ago

Jobs!


Robots!
Rating: 16 Votes
26 months ago

Question remains: where are the current "Made in USA" iMacs being made?


In the USA.
Rating: 10 Votes
26 months ago
Jobs!
Rating: 8 Votes
26 months ago
"but the company (Apple) faces major challenges if it wishes to bring operations on the scale of iPhone production to the United States."

Opportunity is what you give yourself with vision.

Apple faces limits until the day when component integration & miniaturization and robotics allow a nearly totally robotic assembled iPhone. Once that day comes, which I predict is only years away, Apple can put factories anywhere the market is located.

They could easily have factories in Asia, EU, US & South America. Geographic dispersal also assures Apple that earthquake, typhoon, revolution or fire doesn't shut down an entire product line.

It is real and it will come.
Rating: 7 Votes
26 months ago

I hope there will be an option to buy a USA made Apple on checkout. I would pay up to $50 more for a US-Made computer.


Would you...really?

People like to wave their little flag and talk about 'made in America', but 99.9% of consumers are solely driven by the absolute lowest price they can get.

I bet if there was an iMac that was $50 more that was made in the USA and one next to it that was assembled in China, people would push each other out of the way to get the cheaper model.

Not saying it's right...but that's how people are wired....
Rating: 6 Votes
26 months ago
Some people dream of robots doing all the work.

Well what will happen to the people who used to do those jobs?

So a few people at the top get to rake in $billions and the rest of us "can eat cake"?
Rating: 4 Votes
26 months ago

Unions won't have to come in if the company treats it's people well.

Most workers don't want the hassle of dealing with union rules and fees. However if the employer treats it's people unfairly, then a good union is needed to secure bargainng rights for workers.


I'll agree with you on that for the most part.

Too bad most unions haven't been "good" for decades.

Regardless, its more jobs being created in the US and thats good.
Rating: 4 Votes
26 months ago
This is exciting to hear. I'm sure there are going to be major challenges. But there's an interesting anecdote from Steve Jobs' biography: he went to Corning to discuss using Gorilla Glass in the first iPhone. Corning at that time had shelved Gorilla Glass decades before because they didn't know how to market it. Jobs wanted them to ramp up production within six months. Corning initially balked, saying it would take much longer. But Jobs kept pushing and Corning delivered. Sometimes the main preventer of success is inertia.

The US is capable of manufacturing, but it will need to be pushed in that direction since so much of our infrastructure has been dismantled (rail lines, for example). Apple has the clout to do it, and possibly help get this country moving again.
Rating: 4 Votes

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