Apple’s mobile kit is famously (or infamously, depending on whom you believe) assembled in China. It says so right on the back of every Apple iDevice ever. But once you crack open the case, the story’s a bit different. And like any good soap opera, it’s changing all the time.
In an effort to keep up, AppleInsider today posted an enlightening article about the domestic pedigree of Apple’s mobile internals. What they found is that, contrary to popular belief, a notable (and ever growing) percentage of Apple’s components are created and produced right here in the USA.
In addition to Apple’s Texas-built ARM processors and Kentucky-made Gorilla Glass coatings, several other stateside manufacturers are fabricating parts for the Cupertino company. These include Texas Instruments, Avago Technologies, Fairchild Semiconductor, and possibly Maxim Integrated Products (who has neither confirmed nor denied any partnership with Apple).
Summing up the above players’ U.S.-based interests, AppleInsider claims the following as underscored by one well-placed industry contact:
[M]any of these companies are expanding their U.S. production in part because of orders received from “a large personal electronics manufacturer” that continues to see record breaking sales. Afraid to identify Apple by name, some in the industry are said to jokingly refer to growing orders from a mysterious “fruit vendor.”
However, while the companies in question together employ many thousands of American workers and are investing more than $500 million to increase U.S. production, The iPhone and iPad are still largely “international.” Unfortunately, due in part to Apple’s notorious secrecy, it’s almost impossible to assign each included part a decided point of origin. Indeed, when it comes to who made what, a whopping 52.6 percent of the iPhone’s makeup is labeled by iSuppli as “unknown.”
Still, as Tim Cook explained to this year’s D10 audience (and as Steve Jobs repeatedly exclaimed before him), Apple is committed to moving as many of their products’ fabrication and assembly processes stateside as possible:
“We do as many of these things [in America] as we can do. And you can bet that we’ll use the whole of our influence to do this.”
And, we expect, to do even more.