Market Overview

Would You Assemble Apple's Next iPhone For $12 An Hour? (AAPL)

There has been a lot of hype surrounding Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) pledge to invest $100 million in domestic manufacturing.

The company is spending that money to build some Mac computers domestically. MacBooks may not be included in this effort, but the new Mac Pro is already on the list of products to be assembled in America.

Google (NASDAQ: GOOG), Apple's chief competitor in mobile OS development, has already begun to assemble products in the United States. The company launched its first domestic initiative in 2012 when it began to produce the Nexus Q. That device was canceled before its release, but Google has not given up on local production. Moto X, the company's newest flagship phone, is being assembled at a Flextronics (NASDAQ: FLEX) factory in Fort Worth, Texas.

This week Michigan Governor Rick Snyder told Bloomberg that he thinks his state could be an attractive place for companies like Apple.

"I think you're gonna see people like Apple come back to the U.S. and look at places like Michigan," Snyder remarked. "Michigan is a manufacturing hub, [and] I'm proud to say that… Too often people think of manufacturing versus tech. That's not the case. We're gonna put these worlds together and we're gonna show the world that 'made in Michigan' is something special."

Related: Google Ships 100,000 Moto X Units Every Week

The finished product may be something special, but the resulting salary could be a whole other story.

According to CNET, current job listings suggest that Flextronics is paying its employees $9 to $17 an hour to assemble the Moto X.

A previous report by Reuters said that the average wage is between $12 and $14.

During a roundtable interview with the Governor, Benzinga asked Snyder about the value of bringing Apple and other manufacturing jobs to America if they only pay $12.

"I wouldn't ignore any good job," said Snyder. "'Cause again, you may have higher expectations, but someone working… Having a good job is a platform to build off of too, for that next job."

Snyder said that it's "not just about pure manufacturing, but much of what I'm talking about is creating the whole supply chain network in Michigan as much as possible that goes from everything from research and development to manufacturing to hopefully eventually looking at marketing and sales and those other jobs."

Related: Is Apple's iPhone 5C The First iPhone For Kids?

"They all have their own values, and they can add a lot," he added. "That's where, when you talk about the auto industry, we assemble a little over 20 percent of the cars in the U.S., which is still the biggest state of any, but we have a dominant position -- a 70 percent market share -- in R&D. That's really exciting."

While the American-made Mac Pro has yet to be released, Apple is already making select iMacs in the United States.

Disclosure: At the time of this writing, Louis Bedigian had no position in the equities mentioned in this report.

Louis Bedigian is the Senior Tech Analyst and Features Writer of Benzinga. You can reach him at 248-636-1322 or louis(at)benzingapro(dot)com. Follow him @LouisBedigianBZ

Posted-In: Apple Bloomberg CNETNews Politics Tech Interview General Best of Benzinga

 

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