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Some Apple iMacs "Assembled In America"

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the american-made dept.

United States 279

whisper_jeff writes "A number of newly-purchased standard units are showing an "Assembled in America" notation. While the markings don't necessarily mean that Apple is in the midst of transferring its entire assembly operation from China to the U.S., it does indicate that at least a few of the new iMacs were substantially assembled domestically."

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But... (3, Interesting)

b5bartender (2175066) | about 2 years ago | (#42173465)

North America or Central America?

Re:But... (4, Informative)

Sez Zero (586611) | about 2 years ago | (#42173479)

TFA notes the language "Assembled in the USA" so that's pretty clear.

Re:But... (4, Funny)

b5bartender (2175066) | about 2 years ago | (#42173491)

Ah, excellent use of quotations in the summary.

Re:But... (2)

ogl_codemonkey (706920) | about 2 years ago | (#42173511)

Of course! It's to complement the use of the possessive apostrophe.

Re:But... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42173507)

I wonder if they mean.. we take it out of bulk packaging and put it into consumer packaging ;-) (sarcasm)

Re:But... (4, Informative)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#42173525)

The article goes into detail about how customs officials are not amused by things like that. "more than screwdriver assembly" is required.

Re:But... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42173761)

So these ones will run, what? $8000 to offset Union Labor costs?

Re:But... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42173885)

Over the past 30 years, wages in the U.S. have remained flat while productivity has doubled. So the average worker is producing twice as much for the same pay. Where do you think all of that extra free production capacity goes? It maybe is related to the concentration of wealth at the top. Whatever your take on Unions, they're labor cost are still inadequate compared to production. But whatever, keep sucking up to the rich and maybe they'll actually let you kiss their ring one day.

Re:But... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42174097)

Poor AND stupid, huh? We're not letting you filthy vermin near us for any reason. You may however, worship us from a significant distance.

Re:But... (2)

the_B0fh (208483) | about 2 years ago | (#42174109)

Not sure what's your point? Is it a good thing or a bad thing that Apple is moving some parts of the manufacture of their computers to USA?

Oh, look, the ocean is wet and the sky is tall.

And why the hell is it modded informative?

Re:But... (4, Insightful)

ranton (36917) | about 2 years ago | (#42174123)

they're labor cost are still inadequate compared to production

Unless Union members are the ones responsible for the increased productivity (as opposed to the robotics engineers, business process analysts, etc.), how could you possibly think they are due any increased pay based on their increased production? Even if Union members are responsible for some of the increases in productivity, if they were being paid by the company while they were devising ways to improve productivity then they are still not entitled to increased pay (other than raises based on merit, but Unions are generally against that).

If Unions were doing their own productivity research based on money obtained from Union dues, then I completely agree that Union members should share in the extra profit that comes from the increased productivity.

Re:But... (0)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | about 2 years ago | (#42174137)

But whatever, keep sucking up to the rich and maybe they'll actually let you kiss their ring one day.

Wouldn't it be faster to cut off the finger and keep the ring?

I mean, if they're going to be sociopaths to us...

Re:But... (4, Informative)

aaronfaby (741318) | about 2 years ago | (#42173483)

It actually says "Assembled in USA".

Re:But... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42173609)

made in USA [wikipedia.org] ?

Re:But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42173975)

...or South America? America is a large continent, not a single country... ;)

Re:But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42174113)

North America or Central America?

South America ...

hmm.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42173477)

and after some research it comes out it's somewhere in South America.

Re:hmm.. (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 2 years ago | (#42174095)

I wasn't aware that USA stood for United South America

Assembled in USA, not America - Big difference! (5, Informative)

mr_zorg (259994) | about 2 years ago | (#42173485)

The summary and title are misleading. If you read the article, the pictures clearly shows "Assembled in USA". My first thought when I saw "Assembled in America" was that Foxconn has facilities in Brazil now - so perhaps it was really "Assembled in South America". But, no, it really is in the USA. Very cool, Apple.

Re:Assembled in USA, not America - Big difference! (1)

holden caufield (111364) | about 2 years ago | (#42173647)

Let's hope it means "in the United States of America" and not some town in a faraway land named "usa" that they've chose to capitalize the letters.

Re:Assembled in USA, not America - Big difference! (4, Funny)

jandrese (485) | about 2 years ago | (#42173673)

I've occasionally thought that some town in China could make make a killing by renaming itself USA.

Japan, not China... 1960's (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42173899)

There is a town in Japan named "Usa" [wikipedia.org] and back in the 1960's, transistor radios were made there and had a "MADE IN USA" label on them. They did not rename the town to USA, "Usa" was always been its name.
The fact that items made there were imported into the USA bearing the label is true. My parents ran a radio & television shop in the mid-late 1960's and I saw these little Japanese transistor radios with the "MADE IN USA" labels first-hand, and even owned one myself as a child.

Re:Assembled in USA, not America - Big difference! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42174011)

USA, Japan did. Of course then Japanese products became known for better quality, so I wonder what they renamed it to?

Re:Assembled in USA, not America - Big difference! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42174029)

It may well be an urban legend, but I remember back in the 50s being told that there was a town named USA, Japan for just this reason.

Re:Assembled in USA, not America - Big difference! (5, Informative)

mrmeval (662166) | about 2 years ago | (#42174197)

http://www.snopes.com/business/genius/usa.asp [snopes.com]

The Usa Shrine was built there in the 8th century so the time traveler who managed to name or rename it for such a nefarious plot had to have arrived somewhat earlier.

It's a very pretty place.

http://www.city.usa.oita.jp/ [usa.oita.jp]

Re:Assembled in USA, not America - Big difference! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42173783)

Until a few years ago, most clothing "Made in the USA" was actually made in Saipan, which is technically A,erican, but had no minimum wage, child labor protections, safety standards, etc.

Re:Assembled in USA, not America - Big difference! (4, Insightful)

msauve (701917) | about 2 years ago | (#42173739)

The article is misleading, too. It states "the 21.5-inch iMacs are some of the first known examples of an Apple computer being assembled in the U.S., according to Fortune."

However, Apple ][, ][+, Macintoshes up to at least the SE and Mac II, were all made in the USA.

Re:Assembled in USA, not America - Big difference! (2)

larry bagina (561269) | about 2 years ago | (#42174049)

iMacs were manufactured at Apple's Elk Grove, California facility from 1992-2003.

Re:Assembled in USA, not America - Big difference! (2)

msauve (701917) | about 2 years ago | (#42174135)

That's amazing, since the iMac wasn't even introduced until 1998!

Re:Assembled in USA, not America - Big difference! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42173745)

The summary and title are misleading. If you read the article, the pictures clearly shows "Assembled in USA". My first thought when I saw "Assembled in America" was that Foxconn has facilities in Brazil now - so perhaps it was really "Assembled in South America". But, no, it really is in the USA. Very cool, Apple.

Not to mention Foxconn *does* have facilities in Brazil, so it would have been fairly easy to have them assembled there.

America..? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42173495)

Why did they wrote America? Was it North America or South America? Maybe Mexico..?

Re:America..? (-1, Flamebait)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#42173545)

They meant "greater america", land area where subjects must obey the laws of the USA or suffer extradition or drone strikes. In other words, pretty much the whole world.

GO WHERE THE CHEAPEST LABOR IS LOCATED !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42173517)

And shipping of large, heavies MUST BE FACTORED into the function !!

All Hail Apple !! HAIL !! If not for Apple, you would not be here, so penny for your thoughts, mister !!

Re:GO WHERE THE CHEAPEST LABOR IS LOCATED !! (0)

AK Marc (707885) | about 2 years ago | (#42173747)

Labor costs aren't the issue. Infrastructure is key, or they'd all be made in Africa. And US manufacturing costs are high because of OSHA and EPA. If you are allowed to dump industrial waste into the nearest stream and dead workers are tomorrow's lunch, then you get to make stuff cheaper.

Re:GO WHERE THE CHEAPEST LABOR IS LOCATED !! (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42173875)

Stupid government regulations.

What if I WANT to eat yesterday's coworker for lunch???

GOP! GOP! GOP!

There goes the quality (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42173543)

Bah... There goes the quality...Now you wont have slave workers that have every incentive to make sure that the quality is excellent otherwise they will die a slow apple death....

Misdirection (4, Insightful)

asmkm22 (1902712) | about 2 years ago | (#42173547)

I couldn't care less about where it was assembled. The parts are still made in China, which is where the quality is real labor comes from. I'll be impressed if they open up actual factories here in the US, and stop using Ireland to funnel cheaper tax rates.

What are you typing on? (5, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 2 years ago | (#42173641)

I couldn't care less about where it was assembled. The parts are still made in China

If you cared about both things then you had better not be typing on a computer less than twenty years old.

Otherwise why are you harping on Apple for slowly shifting some assembly AND manufacture (remember they make chips in Texas) to the U.S. and giving every other company a free pass?

It's obvious it's going to take some time to move much of the whole process back to the U.S., if it can be done at all. At least Apple is trying.

Re:What are you typing on? (3, Insightful)

scot4875 (542869) | about 2 years ago | (#42173807)

The reason that Apple gets singled out is because they go to such lengths to make sure you see the "Designed by Apple in California" every time you open one of their products, to trigger the "rah rah USA company!" emotional response. If they didn't go to such lengths to intentionally manipulate people, and also if they didn't position themselves as a premium brand when, in fact, their shit is made out of the same components and made in the same facilities as everybody else's shit, they might have a justifiable argument against being singled out.

This is potentially a step in the right direction, at least. Nowhere near enough to take them out of the "do not recommend, do not buy" category though.

--Jeremy

Re:What are you typing on? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42173895)

Yeah, all that negative publication is because of those small words.

Riiiiight.

Re:What are you typing on? (4, Insightful)

the_B0fh (208483) | about 2 years ago | (#42174143)

Because they actually design their stuff in California, unlike every other brand?

Seriously, that chip on your shoulder? Doesn't it get heavy?

Re:What are you typing on? (2, Funny)

Rockoon (1252108) | about 2 years ago | (#42174103)

If you cared about both things then you had better not be typing on a computer less than twenty years old.

Gee, I don't know.. every computer I have owned for my entire adult life has been assembled in America, with American labor, and extremely reasonable work hours...

....on my kitchen table.

I *still* don't give a fuck where your computer was assembled.

Re:Misdirection (4, Insightful)

thestudio_bob (894258) | about 2 years ago | (#42173653)

I couldn't care less about where it was assembled. The parts are still made in China, which is where the quality is real labor comes from. I'll be impressed if they open up actual factories here in the US, and stop using Ireland to funnel cheaper tax rates.

I'm sure this is directed to all large multi-national companies and not just Apple, right? Or is the old adage, "Haters going to hate." in full effect here?

Re:Misdirection (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about 2 years ago | (#42173787)

What do you mean large multinationals? It's pretty difficult to buy diverse electronic parts manufactured outside Asia no matter who you are.

Re:Misdirection (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42173763)

Actually a lot of the parts are made in Japan or Korea, then shipped to China for assembly.

Shipping it to the USA for assembly is a pretty big deal. It's a big step in the right direction.

Re:Misdirection (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 2 years ago | (#42173907)

A big step across a big ocean.

Re:Misdirection (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42174035)

"Assembled in the USA" can be misleading. The Freightliner trucks have "some assembly in the USA." They are fully made abroad, and ship to North Carolina with 4 wheels, ready for the "final assembly," during which time they screw on the 4 wheels.

Re:Misdirection (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42174065)

What we really need in the US is to just ditch the income tax system, and do like the rest of the sane world... and use a VAT.

Sell a product here, that value-added tax will be paid, regardless if the company is based here, based in China, or trying to hide in some income tax haven.

I suspect.... (0)

mark-t (151149) | about 2 years ago | (#42173565)

... that this is to appease people's guilt. They won't know for sure where their imac was manufactured, so they might assume they one that they bought was manufactured domestically in order to feel better about buying one/

Re:I suspect.... (3, Interesting)

the_B0fh (208483) | about 2 years ago | (#42174163)

My god. You really think that? What is wrong with you people?! A company does something that is in the right direction, and it's because they feel guilty?

And if they don't, it's because they are assholes.

Talk about a catch-22.

What about your other electronic equipment? Where are they designed and manufactured and assembled? Why do they get a fucking free pass?

Good! (1)

drussell (132373) | about 2 years ago | (#42173569)

North America has generally seemed to have forgotten how to actually build things. I'm located in Canada, and on those few items my tiny company makes, I'm proud to put the stamp and seal of where it's made on my products...

Re:Good! (0)

ourlovecanlastforeve (795111) | about 2 years ago | (#42173639)

Canada is in North America.

Re:Good! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42173715)

Don't be so defensive. GP's entire post can just as easily be read "we have generally seemed to have forgotten" as "you have generally seem to have forgotten". Also pretty sure drussell knows where Canada is.

Re:Good! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42173795)

The world's top manufacturing country is the United States, as has been the case since before WWII. In 2007, the United States' manufacturing output was $1.831 trillion US Dollars (USD).
Your stupid conception of the world is shared by many people, so I won't blame you for repeating BS.
I will however laugh at you for being Canadian.

Re:Good! (1)

sixsixtysix (1110135) | about 2 years ago | (#42173911)

measuring it by dollars seems to be shady at best. it should be by volume, as you can make less stuff here for more money.

Re:Good! (2)

Rockoon (1252108) | about 2 years ago | (#42174139)

..by volume? Sounds like you want to punish miniaturization.

The only reasonable way to measure it is dollars, and the U.S. is manufacturing more than ever. We just dont use nearly as much manual labor now.

Re:Good! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42173953)

10x salary costs lead to 10x output. That doesn't actually mean there was 10x more produced.

Re:Good! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42174031)

Actually us output usually a revenue generated number. Output in the US over a decade is up, with less worker participation overall.

Re:Good! (1)

Chrontius (654879) | about 2 years ago | (#42173987)

I'd have moderated if this wasn't anonymous; instead, I shall clarify:

American manufacturing is incredibly productive. Why? Automation. We can crank out expensive, precision goods with tight tolerances and great yields. Problem is, robotic assembly lines don't lead to huge employee headcounts. I'm not sure what happens when automation makes people so productive that the design team hands their blueprints off to a fully automated factory, but I suspect that the result is something that could be described as "structural unemployment" or "cascading economic collapse".

Re:Good! (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about 2 years ago | (#42174081)

I don't get why people look at this kind of future with such gloom and doom. When robots do everything for us, we get closer to a Star Trek economy where we constantly improve ourselves because we can.

Re:Good! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42174181)

I don't get why people look at this kind of future with such gloom and doom. When robots do everything for us, we get closer to a Star Trek economy where we constantly improve ourselves because we can.

I like it! But, wouldn't that be a lot like socialism?

Re:Good! (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | about 2 years ago | (#42174155)

"service-oriented society"

Assembled in USA... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42173585)

1. Design product in California
2. Outsource assembly to China
3. Import product
4. Assemble the BOX in America, stamp "assembled in the USA" on it
5. Put the chinese product in the US-MADE BOX !
6. ...
7. PROFIT !

Re:Assembled in USA... (1)

ourlovecanlastforeve (795111) | about 2 years ago | (#42173677)

Designed by Apple in California. Fabricated by people who only do it because there's no better place to work.

Re:Assembled in USA... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42173793)

I do my job because it's the best place I could find to work...I have never thought of that as a bad thing.

Re:Assembled in USA... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42174009)

Not sure if you're trying to denigrate Foxcon.

Or give them a selling point. "No better place to work". Because that's mostly true.

Bargaining chip (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | about 2 years ago | (#42173593)

It's like when some government agency claims they're switching to Linux - suddenly the software and dollars come flowing out of Microsoft to them. This is nothing more than a trial balloon and a red flag to the Chinese hoodlums running the shows over there - clean up your act and/or give us cheaper rates, or we'll move.

We apply the Apple logo in the US (0)

ourlovecanlastforeve (795111) | about 2 years ago | (#42173617)

I'm going to assume that they mean "assembled in the USA" in the same way that Levis means "made in the USA," which is to say they are fabricated in China, then a tiny sticker or a single screw or some such is applied in the US so that they can legally say the product was made in the US.

RTFA (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42173713)

I'm going to assume that they mean "assembled in the USA" in the same way that Levis means "made in the USA," which is to say they are fabricated in China, then a tiny sticker or a single screw or some such is applied in the US so that they can legally say the product was made in the US.

RTFA, which quotes the FTC regs on what is allowed to be labeled "USA."

And no, nobody else does that either. Go look; your clothes say "made in Bangladesh" or wherever. The whole "put in one screw" thing is an urban legend from the '60s or something.

Re:We apply the Apple logo in the US (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42173741)

Well obviously you RTFA! You're awesome! Thank you for your extremely valuable contribution to this discussion! Your user ID is >750,000! For fuck's sake!

Re:We apply the Apple logo in the US (5, Informative)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 2 years ago | (#42173767)

I'm going to assume that they mean "assembled in the USA" in the same way that Levis means "made in the USA," which is to say they are fabricated in China, then a tiny sticker or a single screw or some such is applied in the US so that they can legally say the product was made in the US.

There are very strict rules (the FTC enforces them) about the terms "Made in the USA" and "Assembled in the USA".

The former means that all or virtually all of a product is made in the US. Obviously, the iMac doesn't quality for this (the FTC proposed defining it as 75% of manufacturing costs were spent in the USA AND the product was "last transformed" in the USA).

"Assembled in the USA" means that it's made up of foreign parts, but the last substantial transformation (or assembly) of the product is done in the US. Interestingly, "screwdriver" assembly of foreign parts does not count. This could easily mean that the iMac was more than importing the parts into the US and put-together there - perhaps the case assembly was produced from US manufacturing processes (including say, the friction-stir-welding), then the rest of the parts (which are China and foreign made out of supply-chain necessity)

Do not confuse the two terms "Made in USA" and "Assembed in USA" as they are significantly different in meanting. The FTC enforces the terminology and has found companies liable for violating "Made in USA" rules. Heck, I think some companies dubiously put "Made in USA from domestic and foreign parts"....

Re:We apply the Apple logo in the US (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42174025)

Look at previous iMacs and how much it cost to build them. A short internet search turns up that they cost $25 to assemble in china. Most of the users reporting "Assembled in USA" has built to order iMacs, ones with modified sdd/hdd/ram/etc upgrades. Looks like they are just doing that and the final gluing of the display in USA. No screwdrivers needed!

Don't hold your breath for Made in USA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42173631)

There is a good reason why most of electronics are made in asia today. The reason is components. The components are made in asia and shipping costs, export/import duties combined with labour expenses in US or Eu for that matter rises costs so much that it's not feasible to haul parts and build devices elsewhere.
Exceptions like Intel CPU manufacturing apply to some specialized products.

Re:Don't hold your breath for Made in USA (2)

shmlco (594907) | about 2 years ago | (#42173897)

"The reason is components. The components are made in asia and shipping costs, export/import duties combined with labour expenses in US or Eu for that matter rises costs so much that it's not feasible to haul parts and build devices elsewhere."

Can't believe I'm responding to this but... wrong. Otherwise why Foxconn plants in Mexico and Brazil? Why does Corning make glass here and ship it to China?

Nothing new for CTO (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42173661)

This has been the case for Configure-to-order (CTO) Macs for a long time.

Basically, bulk shipping across the Pacific is cheap; point-to-point shipping across the Pacific is expensive.

Stock-model PCs can be shipped on the proverbial slow boat en masse to a US distribution center, essentially in a convoy, and then unloaded and shipped UPS/Fedex to your door when you order them. You only have to wait for delivery from the dist center, since appropriately configured models are arriving every day.

When you CTO a Mac, a unit has to be specifically configured to your spec before it can be shipped to you. If this were done in China, it would have to be air-freighted directly to your address from China, which is horrendously expensive. (Shipping the unit by boat would take forever.)

I have seen this done even when the "configuration" is to include the full-format wired keyboard instead of the wireless compact keyboard. Apple's fulfillment process basically breaks down to not-custom-at-all (= China) or any-customization-no-mater-how-minor (= US) For US customers, at least. I think they also had a similar operation in Cork Ireland at one time.)

So instead, when you CTO, the manufacturer bulk-ships enclosures, motherboards, LCD panels, and such to a US fulfillment center, then snaps the right pieces together to complete your order. It is quite literally assembly of the system. (About as much work as building your own PC from components from Newegg, I would say.)

I would guess that most PC vendors do much the same thing, but since typical PC towers are much more easily configurable than an Apple iMac, they probably have to do even less work stateside.

Re:Nothing new for CTO (1)

Desler (1608317) | about 2 years ago | (#42173735)

Except this is being seen even on the non-BTO models.

Re:Nothing new for CTO (1)

noobermin (1950642) | about 2 years ago | (#42173957)

While the markings don't necessarily mean that Apple is in the midst of transferring its entire assembly operation from China to the U.S., it does indicate that at least a few of the new iMacs were substantially assembled domestically. Besides built-to-order machines, the 21.5-inch iMacs are some of the first known examples of an Apple computer being assembled in the U.S., according to Fortune.

From the linked article [cnn.com] :

What's odd about Gong's iMac is that it was a stock, off-the-shelf, entry-level model, and not in any way made-to-order.

Re:Nothing new for CTO (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | about 2 years ago | (#42174019)

Probably because the product is so new, basically before it was released there were not CTOs(meaning spare capacity at the factory), and with supplies of certain parts remaining tight at least until the new year the only way to get even the stock configs to customers in a timely fashion is to either do the final assembly close to the customer or air mail it which as the GP pointed out is very expensive. My guess is that by Feb or March of next year you will see more and more stock iMacs assembled in China

Re:Nothing new for CTO (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42173811)

This is not always the case. I bought a CTO Macbook Air within the past year, and it was sent via FedEx directly to my house from China.

Re:Nothing new for CTO (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about 2 years ago | (#42173821)

I've personally ordered four Macs, all build to order, over the last ten years. They've all been FedExed from Shanghai (to Alaska, flying over my head to Tennessee, then back to me). Ditto iPods, including some that were engraved.

It's also very unlikely that the kind of BTO options Apple provides would qualify for an "Assembled in the USA" marking. Adding memory, changing the hard drive, etc. are not sufficient.

Re:Nothing new for CTO (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42173945)

My experience has been similar. 3 custom macs, all shipped directly from Shanghai.

Re:Nothing new for CTO (1)

behrat (1389275) | about 2 years ago | (#42174175)

They've all been FedExed from Shanghai (to Alaska, flying over my head to Tennessee, then back to me).

Don't forget the world's round! That flight from China to Alaska was nowhere near Tennessee: http://www.happyzebra.com/distance-calculator/Shanghai-to-Anchorage.php [happyzebra.com]

Re:Nothing new for CTO (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 2 years ago | (#42173931)

So instead, when you CTO, the manufacturer bulk-ships enclosures, motherboards, LCD panels, and such to a US fulfillment center, then snaps the right pieces together to complete your order. It is quite literally assembly of the system. (About as much work as building your own PC from components from Newegg, I would say.)

I would guess that most PC vendors do much the same thing, but since typical PC towers are much more easily configurable than an Apple iMac, they probably have to do even less work stateside.

The FTC has stated such "screwdriver" assembly of a computer from foreign parts does NOT qualify for "Assembled in USA" labelling. So no PC merely put together from foreign parts qualifies. There has to be some "substantial transformation" that takes place. So merely dumping the parts into a box doesn't qualify.

What would qualify and likely happened is Apple made some of the cases in the US. In this case, assembly transformed a block of aluminum into a case (machining) and firction-stir-welded it together, then the parts were put inside. In this case, there was a transformation of a part from solid metal into a case (irrelevant where the metal came from as it was transformed).

http://business.ftc.gov/documents/bus03-complying-made-usa-standard [ftc.gov]

Re:Nothing new for CTO (1)

PhunkySchtuff (208108) | about 2 years ago | (#42173999)

Air freight is expensive, unless you pre-allocate so much capacity that the operators give you amazing rates.
Apple are famous for one holiday season pre-purchasing so much additional air freight that PC manufacturers were left stranded because there were no more spots left on the planes.

Apple (historically) have used Singapore and then China as their manufacturing base and CTO machines are configured to your spec - quite literally, your order goes into a queue and the next machine off the assembly line is configured to your spec, and air-freighted to you. This is why a CTO will generally take two weeks, unless it's a common "custom" configuration that Apple have in stock.

The assembly is certainly not done like other vendors do, which is to pick parts from a bin and assemble your unit in the USA (or whatever country you're ordering from) they are configured in the same factory that builds the standard machines.

It's amazing the rates you can get for freight when you buy lots of capacity.
I can order a 20kg server from my wholesaler in Sydney which is nearly 900km away. If my order is more than about $300, the freight is free. Otherwise it's $15. If I have to RMA this same 20kg server, it's going to cost me the best part of $100 to get it back up to Sydney.

Re:Nothing new for CTO (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 2 years ago | (#42174015)

but since typical PC towers are much more easily configurable than an Apple iMac, they probably have to do even less work stateside.

I think that's understating matters somewhat. Just to get the "case" open requires a heat gun, numerous guitar picks, and the patience of Jove to not damage anything. Replacing the RAM consists of a total disassembly of the entire system, removing every last piece, and there are several design decisions that the only explanation for is to make it more difficult for even the most experience disassembler to gain access to. With a PC case, the most you usually need is a phillips-head screwdriver, standard size. Even at that, many cases are designed with thumb screws so no tools are required at all to access and replace any component in the system. Opening the iMac requires a heat gun, guitar picks, two different kinds of Torx wrenches (a special order item), and anyone who services apple products will highly recommend a complete 25 bit set for screws, as well as an extender as the bolts are sometimes set into place with adhesive -- though you can get by with only 4 different bits to service the latest iMac. The odds of even an experienced system builder damaging the adhesive bonding the LCD/glass component to the case is high; It will likely require replacement. And no, Apple doesn't sell those separately. Even God would be turned away. Did I mention the bonded LCD and glass? Yeah... if you scratch the glass on the front, you have to replace both, even if the LCD is still perfectly functional.

The only reason they're "Made in the USA" (*cough* assembled, I mean) is because shipping a build-to-order system from overseas is prohibitively expensive. Also, because repairing them is so damned difficult, they put the assembly and repair depot on the same site. Make no mistake though; It's not due to patriotic pride that the sticker is there.

corporations sit on billions (1)

Vince6791 (2639183) | about 2 years ago | (#42173721)

if apple hired 4k(or more) people in manufacturing paying them $14($28 payroll tax) it would cost them about $215 million a year without health insurance, and probably best in Texas where living cost's are low compared to California and NYC. Why are corporations looking down on manufacturing like it's something beneath them. Apple is now worth about $500billion(not sure how much in cash or in stocks). A lot of these corporations are just sitting on billions for no apparent reason.

out side of the usa health insurance is not part o (2)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 2 years ago | (#42173785)

out side of the usa health insurance is not part of the job so that hurts US jobs.

But having manufacturing in the usa makes it easier for the design team to work with the manufacturing team when issues come up and it can also make so some who has done the manufacturing can help the design team with ideas based on doing the job from there side.

Re:corporations sit on billions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42174077)

Why are corporations looking down on manufacturing like it's something beneath them. Apple is now worth about $500billion [...]

Because that $500 billion could be $1 trillion if they could cut enough costs!

US robots now cheaper than Chinese workers! (5, Funny)

presidenteloco (659168) | about 2 years ago | (#42173751)

I knew this time would come.

Welcome to USA, China (2, Funny)

wiedzmin (1269816) | about 2 years ago | (#42173815)

That is a million dollar idea - rename one of the manufacturing towns in China to "USA"... god, the amount of cheap stuff you could sell to patriotic 'Mercins with that sticker.

Re:Welcome to USA, China (1)

kamapuaa (555446) | about 2 years ago | (#42173983)

Well of course the US requires the product to be stamped with the nation, not the town/city. Although there's already an urban legend about something similar done in Japan [snopes.com] .

Re:Welcome to USA, China (0)

Gothmolly (148874) | about 2 years ago | (#42174101)

Patriotic Merkins buy all their crap at Walmart already - they don't care about China, they care about saving 17 cents on a 5 gallon jar of pickles.

Nationalism is irrational. (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42173829)

Businesses should not choose locations on the basis of nationalist prejudice, but on the basis of the relative virtues of each potential location. Such virtues include the various aspects of economic freedom [heritage.org] , which creates an evolutionary incentive for tyrannical governments to reform. The aggregate qualifications and work ethic of the potential employees in a particular location also makes a large difference, as do a number of other factors that are not directly related to governance. And of course the availability of cheap labor sways many decisions, but that is a good thing - it makes sure the poorest people in the world who are the most capable of working their way up get the opportunity to do so.

Why should some American person who has squandered his opportunities to raise his career potential be paid more for a job that can be done by a Chinese person who is struggling to escape rural poverty? Why should USA be rewarded for declining in economic freedom [foxnews.com] at a time when China is making gradual reforms? After Obama's reelection, USA no longer deserves to be the most prosperous nation in the world...

--libman

good (1)

M0j0_j0j0 (1250800) | about 2 years ago | (#42173859)

Just keep printing dollars like crazy, and soon you should have all the production back.

First? (2)

senatorpjt (709879) | about 2 years ago | (#42173989)

"Besides built-to-order machines, the 21.5-inch iMacs are some of the first known examples of an Apple computer being assembled in the U.S., according to Fortune."

I would think that in the past, they were all assembled in the US, at least the Apple II was made in the US. I'm not sure when they started making everything in China, but all of the manufacturing moved there pretty recently. The Apple II was made at the time that stuff was still manufactured here.

CMs for protoproduction. (3, Insightful)

AndyKron (937105) | about 2 years ago | (#42174021)

Sometimes companies start a new product in the states at a contract manufacturer so they can stay close, and work out the production lines. After that the information goes overseas. I used to work for a CM where we'd get this type of job all the time.

If it doesn't come with a warm apple pie (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42174133)

then it's not really American and I don't fucking want it!

by Americans, or by robots in America? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42174165)

This is a worthwhile distinction. There will as little hand-ling as possible in the process, and these days quite a lot is possible. We've got a lot of posts here about "labour" by people who've seemed to have skipped over this detail. We'd better drag it into the light.

[oh come on... captcha is "employ"]

Funny 30 Rock episode (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42174183)

Hand-Made in USA! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zm3TepXcD8A [youtube.com]

"AMERICA...Fuck Yeah!" (0)

Lashat (1041424) | about 2 years ago | (#42174185)

yup.

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