After completing the teardown of a newly-purchased standard 21.5-inch iMac unit, iFixit (via macrumors) reports that their iMac was assembled in the U.S., as shown in the “Assembled in USA” notation-photo below. Fortune is also reporting that one of their readers bought a new 21.5-inch iMac entry level configuration at an Apple (AAPL) Store in San Jose, Calif., that was also assembled in the United States.
Fortune notes however, that Apple’s assembled-in-USA topic has been argued online, particularly on the company’s Support Communities forum, as far back as 2006.[via Fortune]: “As it turns out, this is not the first time [Apple’s American assembly] question has come up. There are several threads on the topic in the Apple support site dating back to 2006. The consensus seems to be that only units made to order — say, with an extra-high-capacity hard drive — get their final assembly in the States.”
Based on the fact Apple is currently shipping new non build-to-order U.S. assembled iMacs, suggests that there is at least some significant assembly activity being performed in the U.S., rather than in China, as we’ve all come to expect.
Most of Apple’s products from the last decade were assembled in China, which makes this distinction, in terms of what it involves or why, far from clear.
While it’s too early to tell by this latest Apple deviation whether the manufacturing is making a comeback to the U.S., the big IT companies are definitely looking into it.
Apple’s CEO Tim Cook said during All Things D’s, D10 conference in May that he wanted more American-made Apple products.
“We will do as many of these things [in America] as we can do,” Cook said, “and you can bet that we’ll use the whole of our influence to do this.”