Apple Now Assembling Some iMacs in America
Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) is reportedly assembling some of the new iMacs in America. Is this a sign that the company is finally ready to return its manufacturing business to the United States?
Fortune and 9to5Mac first picked up on the story after users began to distribute pictures of the manufacturing labels for their new iMacs. In the United States, some consumers are seeing "Assembled in USA" next to the familiar "Designed by Apple in California" notice that accompanies every iMac. While this label had accompanied older iMacs that were ordered with custom parts (which were pieced together domestically), the "Assembled in USA" label is now popping up on regular, off-the-shelf models.
The FTC has published a fair explanation of what a product needs to be "Made" or "Assembled" in America. A car, for example, must have more than 50 percent U.S. parts to be considered "Made in America." The "Assembled" designation is much more lenient. Apple could use a large number of Chinese parts, ship them to America and assemble the product domestically in order to legally obtain the "Assembled in America" designation.
Ironically, the iPad -- which contains American-made parts from Corning (NYSE: GLW) and (believe it or not) Samsung -- is assembled in China. The company also purchases processors from Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) that are manufactured domestically, but it is unknown where they end up.
Foxconn, Apple's chief manufacturer, has reportedly explored the possibility of manufacturing in the United States. The Taiwanese company has looked into Detroit and Los Angeles, among other manufacturing hotspots. Neither Foxconn nor Apple have formerly announced their plans (if there are any) to build products in America. But if Foxconn comes to an American city, it would allow the Apple to quickly and easily bring its product assembly back to the United States.
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