Make way for your new locally sourced iMac: Apple CEO Tim Cook confirmed in interviews today that at least one of the existing lines of Mac computers will be completely U.S.-made in 2013. Although Cook was vague about exactly which line of Macs would be Made in the U.S.A., he is taking a more outspoken stance on the American company's role as a job creator.
In Cook's first major interview since taking over the company from Steve Jobs in 2011, (which airs tonight on NBC's Rock Center, promo below) Brian Williams directly asks the CEO, "Why can't you be a made in America company?" In a similar 11-page interview, posted this morning on Bloomberg Businessweek, the Apple CEO explained:
It’s not known well that the engine for the iPhone and iPad is made in the U.S., and many of these are also exported—the engine, the processor. The glass is made in Kentucky. 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.
The processor he's referring to there would be the A6 chip found int he iPhone 5, which is made in Texas. As for which Mac line will be the most patriotic line for the company: earlier this month tech blogs started noticing "Assembled in USA" labels appearing on the newest line of desktop iMacs announced back in October.
Aside from that subtle hint, however, the move was unexpected from the largest computer maker on the planet. Although there's no telling yet how the switchover to American manufacturing will affect Apple's margins, there's no doubt a massive company like Cook's can afford the switch. To finally counter all the bad PR from Foxconn would be reason enough for a move like this, but it's also refreshing for a tech giant to put more profits back in American pockets.
Likewise, in the Bloomberg interview, Cook also touted some 600,000 U.S. jobs Apple has created indirectly. Telling Williams, "I’ve never thought a company’s measurement of job creation should be limited to the number of employees working directly for them."
While we're at it, here's what it looked like the last time Apple built Macs stateside, when the Macintosh II was built in nearby Fremont, California:
Note: An earlier version of this post stated the Businessweek interview was a transcript of the Brian Williams piece. It is, in fact, a very similar but different interview.