Apple, Inc. has brought part of its manufacturing process back to the United States. While Apple use to produce a majority of its iMac computers in the United States, the company pulled production in 2004 and moved its facilities to Asia. Since pulling production the backside stamp on those iMac devices have read “Designed by Apple in California. Assembled in China.”
Now the team at iFixIt has discovered a new stamp that reads “Assembled in USA.” The stamp is laser etched which means the iMac being torn down was likely brand new and not a refurbished device.
You may recall that it was CEO Tim Cook who consolidated Apple’s manufacturing process when he was the SVP of Worldwide Operations. Now it appears that as CEO Tim Cook has decided to bring at least some of those jobs home.
The Sacramento Business Journal back in September noted that Apple’s Elk Grove workforce had grown by at least 50 percent. While Apple has not confirmed where the iMac’s are being manufactured the Elk Grove facility would be a good guess.
There is also the chance that Apple is using a third-party manufacturing facility since CEO Tim Cook admitted earlier in the year that manufacturing was not Apple’s strong point. Although Cook did tell AllThingD’s Walt Mossberg that he would one day like to bring Apple manufacturing back to the United States.
It should be noted that the iMac’s being sold are “assembled” in the United States and not “made” in the United States, a designation that likely means the components are still being sourced from overseas. Based on that designation it could mean only specialized iMac’s are being created on site in the United States, while standard units could still be shipping from elsewhere. Reviewers have noted that many of the new iMac line that just reached market still carry the “Assembled in China” message and given Foxconn and other Asian manufacturers control over the Apple build process that will likely remain the case for years to come.
At this time consumers can not tell if an Apple computer is “assembled in America” simply by looking at the box at a retail location.
Here is the FCC label that reads “assembled in the USA”:
Would you be more willing to purchase an Apple iMac if you knew the computer was being assembled in America?
[Image via AppleInsider]