Apple plans to spend more than $100 million next year on building Mac computers in the US, shifting a small portion of manufacturing away from China, the country that has handled assembly of its products for years.
“Next year we’re going to bring some production to the US,” chief executive Tim Cook said in an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek. “This doesn’t mean that Apple will do it ourselves, but we’ll be working with people and we’ll be investing our money.”
Apple, which until the late 1990s made and assembled many products in the US, moved manufacturing to Asia to take advantage of the region’s lower labour costs.
The planned investment makes up a sliver of Apple’s $121.3 billion in cash, and probably won’t meaningfully affect profit margins. Still, it reflects pressure on companies to create even a modest number of domestic jobs as the unemployment rate hovers near 8 percent and the economy rebounds from the recession that ended in 2009.
“I don’t think we have a responsibility to create a certain kind of job,” Mr Cook said. “But I think we do have a responsibility to create jobs.”
Mr Cook discussed the investment plans in an interview that touched on his relationship with Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, the recent dismissal of senior executives and the company’s competition with Samsung. While Mr Cook didn’t outline where the manufacturing would happen or how much would be produced in the US, he said the company would work with partners and that the operations would include more than just final assembly.
Many of the parts that go into the iPhone and iPad already are made in the US. These include the display glass, which is made in Kentucky, Mr Cook said.
Apple also has created jobs in the mobile-software industry through the introduction of the iPhone in 2007, which fuelled an explosion in creation of applications, he said.