Apple CEO Tim Cook: 'It's Not True That the iPhone is Not Made in the United States'

"It's not true that the iPhone is not made in the United States," Apple CEO Tim Cook said this morning in an interview with Recode's Kara Swisher and MSNBC's Chris Hayes in a response to criticism about its ties to China and other countries.

"We have always made the parts here," Cook said. "People just look at where the final product is assembled." In a global world, he explained, manufacturing and assembly needs to be done in a variety of places.

Image via Recode

As Cook has said multiple times in the past, key iPhone components are manufactured in the United States. Display glass for the iPhone and iPad, made by U.S. manufacturer Corning, comes from Kentucky. The Face ID module for the iPhone X comes from Texas. Various chips for Apple devices are also built in the United States, according to Cook, as is equipment for manufacturing the iPhone.

Components manufactured in the U.S. are shipped abroad, with devices assembled by suppliers like Foxconn and Pegatron in China.

Cook said "political pressure" doesn't push Apple to add U.S. jobs, as it's something the company is already doing. As Cook often says, Apple could "only have been created in the United States," and Apple wants to give back. "Businesses should be more than just building revenues and profits," Cook said. "They should be building people."

"We know that Apple could only have been created in the United States. We know that. This company would not have flourished in any other country in the world. We love this country. We are patriots. This is our country and we want to create as many jobs as we can in the U.S. We don't need any political pressure for that."

Apple in January outlined a five-year plan to contribute $350 billion to the U.S. economy through job creation, existing investments and manufacturing, and new investments. Apple has established an Advanced Manufacturing Fund, for example, to invest in U.S. manufacturing. Apple has thus far invested $200 million in Corning and $390 million in Finisar.

On the topic of job creation and automation, Cook said that it's important to "get comfortable" with "the notion that education is lifelong." Jobs, he says, will be "cannibalized over time and replaced by others." Continuously learning is important, which is why Apple puts such a focus on teaching students of all ages to code. "The jobs of tomorrow are heavily software based," he said.

"There's an element of what each of us do, which will be automated over time. That's not bad. But we need to think about training for the jobs for tomorrow, which will be software-based."

He said he does not believe the narrative around "doom and gloom" is correct, but he does believe government and businesses need to work together on job retraining and creation for industries that are being automated. "We should not all sit around waiting for government to tell us what to do," he said.

Tim Cook's full interview will air on MSNBC on Friday, April 6 at 5:00 p.m. in a segment titled "Revolution: Apple Changing the World."

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

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31 months ago
2018 Hypocrite of the Year just given to Timmy. Obviously lobbying for China. He is scared to death. Too bad. :apple:
Score: 38 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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31 months ago
He does have a point. The assembly is what people focus the most on. But when you look at the scale and economics of manufacturing in emerging markets, you simply can't avoid them and still have your products sell at reasonable prices.

If countries start creating protectionist policies to force companies to manufacture locally, then you'll just see that increased cost passed on to the consumer. But the company won't absorb those higher costs.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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31 months ago
The more Tim gets into the public eye, the more I like his style and way of thinking and how Apple is now being managed.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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31 months ago
Sooo.... apparently, Apple is about to announce acquisition of China and claims it'll be a part of States?
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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31 months ago
American patriotism is always mind boggling to me
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
31 months ago

He does have a point. The assembly is what people focus the most on. But when you look at the scale and economics of manufacturing in emerging markets, you simply can't avoid them and still have your products sell at reasonable prices.

If countries start creating protectionist policies to force companies to manufacture locally, then you'll just see that increased cost passed on to the consumer. But the company won't absorb those higher costs.

But that begs the question... Isn't that what an item should cost? Like the avocado debacle a few months ago; if the real price of an "All-American avocado" grown and picked by someone who makes $15.00/hr is 10 bucks, then maybe that's just what it should have been all along.

Face it folks, you can't demand companies to make things completely in the U.S., pay their workers a minimum of $15.00/hr, have the government provide everyone with complete healthcare, and then pay $150 for an iPhone or $50 for a new TV. You have to pick your poison.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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