Apple CEO Tim Cook says the computer and tech manufacturing giant has plans to manufacture one of its existing Mac lines in the United States
next year. This seems to confirm rumors circling tech blogs over the last few months that Apple planned the shift to American made products for some time, because of iMacs released with “Assembled in USA” etched into the backs.
Cook told Brian Williams of NBC News that the company had been working for years to bring more jobs to home shores, but the U.S. lacked a certain workforce.
“It’s not about price, it’s about the skills,” Cook told Williams in a clip from an interview posted online this morning.
“Over time, there are skills that are associated with manufacturing that have left the U.S. Not in such solely people but the education systems stopped producing that. It’s a concerted effort to get them back,” Cook said. “And this project that I’ve talked about where we do a Mac in the United States next year, I think this is a really good another step for us. And the consumer electronics world was really never here. And so it’s not a matter of bringing it back. It’s a matter of starting it here.
In recent months, Apple came under fire when allegations arose about ethical workplace conditions at manufacturing centers in China. Particularly, the plant known as Foxconn became the subject of attention when workers began to stir unrest. At one point this year, a 2,000 person brawl engulfed Foxconn. There were also a string of suicides at the plant.
Cook did not say in the NBC clip whether the decision to bring Apple’s operations back to the U.S. has anything to do with the issues at Foxconn.
Cook joined Apple in 1998 and took over for then-CEO Steve Jobs in August 2011, when Jobs faced complications from pancreatic cancer. Jobs died two months later. This was Cook’s first interview since taking on the post.
The full interview airs Thursday on Williams’ show, “Rock Center.”
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