Tim Cook to NBC: Apple will make Macs in USA

In an exclusive interview with Brian Williams airing tonight at 10pm/9c on NBC’s “Rock Center,” Apple CEO Tim Cook announced one of the existing Mac lines will be manufactured exclusively in the United States next year. Mac fans will have to wait to see which Mac line it will be because Apple, widely known for its secrecy, left it vague. Cook’s announcement may or may not confirm recent rumors in the blogosphere sparked by iMacs inscribed in the back with “Assembled in USA.”

Huge news. Apple has been under pressure to bring manufacturing jobs back to the USA for several years, especially after a series of reports about the working conditions at subcontractors’ factories in China.

During his first term, President Obama had met with Steve Jobs, and Jobs offered that Apple “could move more manufacturing here” if U.S. education produced more skilled engineers.

Cook agrees with his predecessor’s opinion about the state of U.S. education, but said, “The consumer electronics world was really never here. It’s a matter of starting it here.”

And to the pundits who have repeatedly asked what Steve Jobs would do if he were still with us?

“And one of the things he did for me, that removed a gigantic burden that would have normally existed, is he told me, on a couple of occasions before he passed away, to never question what he would have done. Never ask the question, ‘What Steve would do,’ to just do what’s right.”

  • Probably reading too much into this but what the heck. Mac Pro (or, to be exact, its replacement) seems like the most sensible thing surely? Something new coming next year, far less reliance on specialist manufacturers, relatively low volumes compared to the home user focused lines and, I’d have thought, a fair chunk of its customer base is in the US anyway.

    • Peter Cohen

      Mac Pro was my thought, too. Low-volume, high-margin system.

    • tylernol

      Mac Pro successor seems like a logical choice for stepping back into US manufacturing.

  • Any move towards expanding the manufacturing base in the US is worthy. If we’re ever to rebuild our ability to build consumer electronics, we have to start somewhere, and on Macs, where the pressure (and volume) isn’t as high as on iOS devices, it allows Cook, Mansfield, et al. to learn and work out kinks without it disrupting the company too much. A first step, but a welcome one.

  • tylernol


  • yep, “just do what’s right.”

  • MrPhotoEd

    “Never ask the question, ‘What Steve would do,’ to just do what’s right.” Amen to that. Leave the “WSWD” question to the pundits who are like the to old heckler muppets in the balcony of the old classic “The Muppet Show”. They were never happy with anything they saw. At least they were funny though. The pundits on the other hand are just pathetic.

    Just a thought

  • Clearly Apple has been doing some deep thinking about its relationship with companies like Samsung and doesn’t like what it sees at all.

    • lucascott

      No one said Apple is stopping all use of Samsung parts.

      • Not yet. But you can bet they are working on it.

      • Nope they didn’t. But it’s no stretch at all to connect those dots.

  • Moeskido

    Hell of an announcement. I’m guessing Wall Street will downgrade the stock on the assumption that manufacturing costs here are far greater than they’d be in China.

  • lucascott

    Foxconn has announced at the same time that they are desiring to expand into the US. This is likely what Tim was talking about.

    And it’s the best way to play it. Apple doesn’t do their own assembling etc so there’s nothing for them to move anywhere. Foxconn shoulders what burden and Apple has likely already agreed to give X amount of business to the new factories when they open.

  • DanielSw

    I’ve waited just long enough with my iPhone 3GS for the iPhone 5. Now perhaps I’ve waited just long enough for the new Mac Pro!