(NEW YORK) — Some iMac owners have been finding lately that their computers were “assembled in the USA.” Those U.S.-assembled machines have been few and far between — most still have “assembled in China” tags. But Apple is planning for many more Mac computers to be made in the U.S. next year.
In an interview with Businessweek, Apple CEO Tim Cook revealed that the Cupertino-based company is investing $100 million in U.S. based manufacturing for its Mac computers. The project will be an entirely new undertaking.
“And next year we are going to bring some production to the U.S. on the Mac. We’ve been working on this for a long time, and we were getting closer to it. It will happen in 2013,” Cook said in an interview with Businessweek‘s Josh Tyrangiel. “We could have quickly maybe done just assembly, but it’s broader because we wanted to do something more substantial.”
Apple has manufactured and assembled most of its products in China, and has been widely criticized for the poor working conditions in the factories of its Foxconn contractor there. Apple’s late CEO, Steve Jobs, was quoted by biographer Walter Isaacson as complaining to President Obama that U.S. regulations made it easier to build a factory overseas.
His successor, Cook, now speaks of change.
“We’ll literally invest over $100 million. This doesn’t mean that Apple will do it ourselves, but we’ll be working with people, and we’ll be investing our money,” Cook added in the interview.
After the furor began over conditions at Foxconn in China, ABC News’ Bill Weir got an exclusive look at some of its factories in Shenzhen and Chengdu. Since then, Apple, along with the Fair Labor Association, has vowed to make changes to working hours, overtime and more.
Cook elaborated on the progress being made in China in the interview: “I think no one is looking at this as deeply as we are or going as deep in the supply chain. We’re back to the mines. We’re going all the way, not just at the first layer. And in addition to that, we’ve chosen to be incredibly transparent with it. I invite everyone to copy us.”
According to the interview, Apple will bring Mac production to the U.S. — but not iPad or iPhone manufacturing. When asked about making an iPhone in the U.S. at the All Things D conference in May, Cook pointed out that some parts are made in the U.S., including the Gorilla Glass screen on Apple’s iPhones. Apple has not specified what Mac computer lines — iMac, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, etc. — will be made here.
Along with Apple, Lenovo plans to begin production of its ThinkPad laptops and desktops to the U.S. The company will start assembling and making hardware in early 2013 in Whitsett, North Carolina. As a result, Lenovo plans to hire for 115 manufacturing jobs later this year.
When reached by ABC News, Apple pointed us to the interview and would not elaborate on its 2013 U.S. production plans.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
John Gunnerson, BYU-Idaho
Susan Scutti, CNN
Paul Menser, BizMojo Idaho