Future iPhones Could Be 'Made in America' as Apple Asks Foxconn to Consider U.S. Manufacturing

Apple manufacturing partner Foxconn has been studying the possibility of moving iPhone production to the United States, according to Japanese website Nikkei Asian Review, leading to hopeful speculation some iPhones could one day be "Made in America" rather than be assembled and imported from China.

iphone-made-in-america
The report claims Apple asked both Foxconn and rival supplier Pegatron, which denied the request, to look into making iPhones stateside, although Foxconn chairman Terry Gou is said to be less enthusiastic about the idea due to inevitably higher production costs in the United States compared to China.

"Apple asked both Foxconn and Pegatron, the two iPhone assemblers, in June to look into making iPhones in the U.S.," a source said. "Foxconn complied, while Pegatron declined to formulate such a plan due to cost concerns."

In a speech at Liberty University in Virginia earlier this year, President-elect Donald Trump said "we're going to get Apple to start building their damn computers and things in this country instead of in other countries," while he has also threatened to introduce a 45% tax on products imported from China.

Apple CEO Tim Cook previously told 60 Minutes it manufactures iPhones in China because of "skill," not lower wages. Cook said China has put an "enormous force on manufacturing," adding that the U.S. workforce has a smaller number of individuals with the "vocational kind of skills" needed.

China put an enormous focus on manufacturing. In what we would call, you and I would call vocational kind of skills. The U.S., over time, began to stop having as many vocational kind of skills. I mean, you can take every tool and die maker in the United States and probably put them in a room that we're currently sitting in. In China, you would have to have multiple football fields.

Meanwhile, an industry executive told Nikkei the U.S. does not have the "cluster of suppliers" needed to manufacture iPhones. In Asia, Taiwan's TSMC makes A-series chips for iPhones, Japan's Sharp and Japan Display supply iPhone displays, and South Korea's SK Hynix and Japan's Toshiba produce memory chips for the device.

"To make iPhones, there will need to be a cluster of suppliers in the same place, which the U.S. does not have at the moment," the executive said. "Even if Trump imposes a 45% tariff, it is still possible that manufacturers will decide to continue production overseas as long as the costs together with the tariffs are lower than the amount they need to spend on building and running production lines in the U.S."

U.S. manufacturing would inevitably raise concerns about Apple's profit margins and, in turn, how much the iPhone costs for customers. iPhone 7 component costs are estimated to start at $220, compared to a base price of $649, although Cook has previously dismissed third-party cost estimates as being highly inaccurate.

TSMC and Sharp have acknowledged that while U.S. manufacturing would prove more expensive, the companies would certainly consider the move over losing a major customer such as Apple. But, for now, the idea likely remains a stretch even in light of new political pressures.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Top Rated Comments

Weaselboy Avatar
53 months ago

say hello to $5,000 iphones

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/601491/the-all-american-iphone/

More like between $30 and $100 difference depending on how you calculate it.

I would gladly pay the difference if it would help some folks get jobs.
Score: 47 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bingeciren Avatar
53 months ago
Trump factor?
Score: 40 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Red Oak Avatar
53 months ago
I have one word for you: robotics
Score: 34 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Zwhaler Avatar
53 months ago
"Skill"??? Hahaha that is a good one. Everyone knows that companies outsource to China (and Mexico, Taiwan, the Philippines, Bangladesh, etc.) because of "skill"!
</s>
Score: 34 Votes (Like | Disagree)
tremlock Avatar
53 months ago
say hello to $5,000 iphones
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
kevinkyoo Avatar
53 months ago
Say whatever you want about Trump, but if this goes through, that would be huge. Potentially tons of new jobs for one of the largest tech companies available to people in this country?
Score: 32 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple Watc black friday 20 sale feature

Apple Black Friday 2020: Best Apple Watch Deals [Updated]

Wednesday November 25, 2020 4:01 pm PST by
Black Friday sales have begun on a variety of products, including the Apple Watch. There are quite a few deals across the Apple Watch lineup this year, including one of the lowest price we've ever seen the Apple Watch Series 3. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the...
m1 chip macbook air pro

Kuo: Redesigned MacBooks With Apple Silicon to Launch in Second Half of 2021

Tuesday November 24, 2020 7:53 pm PST by
Apple plans to release additional MacBook models with Apple Silicon in the second half of 2021, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, as part of the company's two-year transition away from Intel processors across its Mac lineup. In a research note today, obtained by MacRumors, Kuo said that these MacBook models will feature a new design. Kuo did not specify which models these will be, but he...
AirPods Pro black friday 20 sale feature 2

Black Friday 2020: AirPods Pro Reach Lowest Price Ever [Updated]

Wednesday November 25, 2020 3:22 pm PST by
Black Friday has kicked off this week, and one of the first major sales for the AirPods Pro is available right now on Walmart. You can find this deal below, along with a few other solid discounts on the regular AirPods. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site...
13 16 inch macbook pro air trio

Reliable Leaker Suggests Redesigned MacBooks in 2021 Will Include Both Apple Silicon and Intel Models

Wednesday November 25, 2020 9:15 am PST by
Reliable leaker known as "L0vetodream" has today suggested on Twitter that redesigned MacBooks coming in the second half of 2021 will include models with both Apple Silicon chips and Intel processors. The brief Tweet came in response to a MacRumors article from earlier today, which outlined a report from Ming-Chi Kuo claiming that Apple plans to release redesigned MacBook models with Apple ...
General black friday 20 sale feature

Thanksgiving Day Deals Still Available on AirPods, M1 Macs, Apple Watch Series 6, iPads

Thursday November 26, 2020 10:21 am PST by
Black Friday deals seem to start earlier and earlier every year, so there were already a wide variety of discounts available for Apple products on Thanksgiving Day. Many of the deals remain available even after Thanksgiving, but act fast, as inventory quickly fluctuates. Thanksgiving Day Deals on Apple Products — Still Available:AirPods with a wireless charging case remain available for...
iPads black friday 20 sale feature

Apple Black Friday 2020: Best iPad Deals [Updated]

Tuesday November 24, 2020 8:51 am PST by
Black Friday is underway, and we're tracking discounts across Apple's lineup of iPads, including the current-generation 10.2-inch iPad, iPad Air, and iPad Pro. We'll be keeping this post updated as new deals appear and current ones expire, so be sure to keep checking back for the latest. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a...
mac mini macbook pro macbook air

Apple M1 Hands-On Comparison: MacBook Air vs. MacBook Pro vs. Mac Mini

Monday November 23, 2020 3:40 pm PST by
Apple's M1 Macs are out in the wild now, but ahead of the holidays, you might still be trying to figure out which one to pick up, either for yourself or as a gift for someone else. We've got all three of the new Macs available, so we thought we'd give MacRumors readers a hands-on overview of each machine in our latest YouTube video. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. ...
windows 10

Developer Successfully Virtualizes Windows for Arm on M1 Mac

Friday November 27, 2020 7:16 am PST by
Developer Alexander Graf has successfully virtualized the Arm version of Windows on an M1 Mac, proving that the M1 chip is capable of running Microsoft's operating system (via The 8-Bit). Currently, Macs with the M1 chip do not support Windows and there is no Boot Camp feature as there is on Intel Macs, but support for Windows is a feature that many users would like to see. Using the...
apple park drone june 2018 2

Apple's Global Security Chief Indicted in Scheme to Trade iPads for Gun Permits, but Apple Says It's Found No Wrongdoing

Wednesday November 25, 2020 9:41 am PST by
Earlier this week, Apple's Chief Security Offier Thomas Moyer and others were charged in an expanding investigation involving the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office over exchanging bribes for concealed gun permits, reported the Morgan Hill Times. According to the investigation, Santa Clara County Undersheriff Rick Sung held back four concealed carry weapons permits for Apple's security team ...
iPad Pro 5G and Mini LED feature

Rumored 2021 High-End iPad Pro May Feature 5G With mmWave Support

Thursday November 26, 2020 2:14 am PST by
Apple's rumored high-end iPad Pro models to be released next year will be 5G-enabled with mmWave support, according to sources cited by industry publication DigiTimes. Multiple rumors have suggested Apple is planning to release a high-end 12.9-inch iPad Pro with a mini-LED display next year, with the possibility that there will be an 11-inch mini-LED model too, but details beyond that have...