While there are already some parts being produced in the U.S. — like the Samsung chips used for iPhones and iPads – Apple CEO Tim Cook claims that he wants to do more than just “assemble” Macs here. Hardware partner Foxconn is supposedly preparing for the shift by ramping up hiring for its U.S. plants.
Apple is reportedly set to move its Mac mini production lines back to the US with Foxconn Electronics (Hon Hai Precision Industry) to be responsible of handling establishment, according to sources from the upstream supply chain.
Currently, Foxconn has about 15 operating bases in the US and the company reportedly plans to start recruiting workers in 2013 for new automated production lines.
More automated production lines would help Apple get around the limitations it has cited in the past for failing to do more production at home in the U.S.: costs, and getting production facilities up to its exacting standards.
The Mac mini is also a Mac with relatively low shipping volume: Digitimes predicts 1.4 million units total for 2012. While Apple doesn’t break out individual Mac sales figures, that would make for a relatively small chunk of the 18.1 million Macs it sold during fiscal 2012. It’s small enough to be manageable for what is essentially a trial run, while also being large enough to represent a serious undertaking, where producing the niche and aging Mac Pro would’ve been a symbolic gesture, at best.
Which Mac line do you think makes the most sense for Apple to start producing in the U.S.? Would a “made in the USA” sticker on a new Mac Pro or Mac Mini make you more likely to buy one? Let us know your opinion.