Why can not Apple manufacture computers in the US?


Anyone who understands how iPhones and Macs are manufactured knows how much President Trump's pride over Apple is bringing production back to the United States. But if you're looking for a solid story explaining why, then The New York Times offers a story about a screw and how it and other factors handled Apple's ability to mass-produce the ill-succeeded Mac Pro in Texas.

Here's the gist:

But when Apple started manufacturing the $ 3,000 computer in Austin, Texas, it struggled to find enough screws … In China, Apple depended on factories that can produce large amounts of custom screws in the short term. In Texas, where they say everything is bigger, it turned out that screw suppliers were not.

After months of delay, Apple ended up asking for the screws from China. Eventually, Apple found a supplier in Texas that could produce 28,000 custom screws, although they were not the exact screws needed or the right amount, according to NYT. And they were delivered on 22 trips, often in a Lexus run by the owner of the manufacturer.

While the NYT explains, no country, and certainly not the US, can compete with the scale of the Chinese supply chain, large numbers of skilled workers, infrastructure that can move things fast, or relatively cheap labor. These jobs are not coming back anytime soon, not ever. Ironically, it was Tim Cook in his former role as chief operating officer at Apple who helped lead the global shift to the foreign industry about 15 years ago by outsourcing the iPod assembly to Foxconn.

O NYT article reads like a primer that everyone, including the president, should read in 2019, in addition to providing context for the disaster that was the 2013 Mac Pro.


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