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scrotum
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No bull.

http://rockcenter.nbcnews.com/_news/201 ... ers-in-usa

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-12-0 ... -says.html

Interesting, the title on the Rock Center video says, "Apple CEO announces entire line of Macs to be made in America."

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yo
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Was just reading that too. Very interesting. Psyched to see where that goes. Google did it with the Nexus. Now Apple. This is how these things start...

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Cyberdemon
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I take all of this with a bit of a grain of salt. 90% of the components Apple (and everyone in the electronics industry) uses are still made by other companies in Asia, so the real question is are they just going to use this as PR where they machine a few bits and sandwich it all together and print a "Made in USA" sticker on it.

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This is my favorite bit of design news in the past several months. I know Apple can push their Chinese factories into more or less doing whatever they dream up with materials, form, construction, etc. But I have a feeling that they'll really be able to push manufacturing boundaries here on US soil, exciting times.
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yo
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Even if it is just assembly it is something though no?

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yo wrote:Even if it is just assembly it is something though no?


When I read the first post the first thing I thought was, Made = Assembled. But I agree, assembly is something that will get low skilled workers more employment opportunity in the US. Unfortunately there's a surplus of skilled and/or educated people out of work as well that assembly jobs just won't fulfill, but hopefully this is a nod to the first step in "bringing it all back home" and not just a PR move.
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Cook made clear it's more than just final assembly. They are putting in a decent investment into this. When you look at the guts of an iMac from that other thread, apart from the display there isn't much in there we couldn't make in this country pretty easily. We already do a lot of chip fabrication. We can certainly machine aluminum parts and injection mold a few plastic bits. Probably don't even need a human on the assembly line until it gets to final QC and loading into the carton.

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Structurally I don't see a requirement to move production closer to the biggest market. The supply chain and the logistics are as efficient as it gets now. Perhaps in the future there will be something needed to have the manufacturing close, customization or the next step in manufacturing that they wish to keep tighter control over.

Most likely however they are moving the manufacturing/assembly to the US to counter the storm of criticism that started last year.

Either way, it is a great thing to see. Hopefully will re-spawn all of the part supply companies as well.

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1. People don't realize how little labor is involved in electronics. Here is one of the fastest growing companies in Canada: http://www.aeicm.com/ August Electronics Inc. in Alberta. It's one of a number of contract electronics manufacturers that I've seen pop up in the US and Canada the last 3-5 years. It's basically capital investment. Similar to injection molding, you basically need 1-2 people to feed a bunch of machines with components. Everything else is automated. Maybe a little more QC at the end.

2. Mexico manufacturers a lot of computers, TVs, cell phones. I'm sure it is mostly assembly, but still. From my experience, most of those facilities are pretty light on manual labor too.

3. Tim Cook's expertise is logistics. I'm sure that this will save Apple money. There will be significant tax advantages in terms of avoiding tariffs and getting tax credits. I don't see anything altruistic or patriotic. It's a smart business move.
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There really isn't much of a choice. The Chinese government has stated that the new goal is to move manufacturing from externally focused to internally focused. Whether Chinese manufacturers really want to do this or not, it has been stated by the government as THE goal so anyone who does not follow the line will find it difficult doing business. So the US really has to figure out how to bring manufacturing back, because really there is no choice.

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That's true too. I know in the ventilation industry, costs have risen because the gov't mandates that a certain amount of capacity is for the Chinese market only. It's squeezed how much is available for export.

We'll see in other categories. Talking to plumbing manufacturers, everyone is at 50% capacity because the US construction market is so soft.
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Interesting article in Forbes.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/gordonchang ... -rustbelt/

Forbes wrote:Automation, however, essentially eliminates the advantages of China as a manufacturing platform for the world. Robotized production in China is no cheaper than robotized production in, say, Texas or California, where Foxconn maintains manufacturing facilities. And so it should come as no surprise that, as Foxconn replaces humans with machines, Apple CEO Tim Cook told NBC’s Brian Williams on Thursday that next year his company will manufacture one of its Mac computers in the U.S.

Even though Cook’s announcement could have been “political”—a “token gesture” as one observer in Hong Kong sniffed—it nonetheless is part of a broader narrative of factories fleeing China. After all, Apple is not the only company to recently announce it was “onshoring.” Lenovo, China’s largest maker of PCs, in October said it would move some computer manufacturing to its North Carolina facility, and General Electric has been transferring production back to Appliance Park in Louisville. Small- and medium-sized manufacturers are started to return to the U.S. as well.

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Good read.

Our business units actually have a mixed strategy, some focus heavily on Asian manufactured, and ODM assisted manufacturing whereas others focus on domestic/internal engineering and manufacturing. (Both in the US and Asia).

I think the biggest argument against the ODM model is the fact that although you may get a "Cheaper" price, the added costs of communication, addressing quality issues, and rework due to the low quality of some of the engineering talent means you may break even at the end of the day.

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Cyberdemon wrote:I take all of this with a bit of a grain of salt. 90% of the components Apple (and everyone in the electronics industry) uses are still made by other companies in Asia, so the real question is are they just going to use this as PR where they machine a few bits and sandwich it all together and print a "Made in USA" sticker on it.


The most they will be able to tout is 'Assembled in the USA' and then they may well have to state the percentage of components sourced from the USA as well.
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Generatewhatsnext
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Timf wrote:There really isn't much of a choice. The Chinese government has stated that the new goal is to move manufacturing from externally focused to internally focused. Whether Chinese manufacturers really want to do this or not, it has been stated by the government as THE goal so anyone who does not follow the line will find it difficult doing business. So the US really has to figure out how to bring manufacturing back, because really there is no choice.


Unfortunately, due to the previous decade's incentives to move large scale manufacturing off shore, I think most manufacturers are going to slowly transition into Taiwan, Vietnam and elsewhere before making serious efforts to return to the States.
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