Apple is spending $100 million bringing some Mac manufacturing back to the U.S, CEO Tim Cook said today in an interview.That sounds like good news to those who are worried about the decline of U.S. manufacturing.
But to others, it’s just a PR stunt with limited real value.
One of them is SumOfUs, a corporate watchdog group that describes itself as “fighting for people over profits.”
“Apple has a track record of announcing changes in its supply chain as PR stunts,” the organization’s founder and executive director Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman said. “Apple has spent $650 million just on advertising for the iPhone alone since it launched. They’re talking about spending less than 20% of that on this shift. They’re talking about moving 1/10th of 1 percent of their global production costs.”
There’s no question that $100 million worth of manufacturing investment locally is a drop in the bucket. And there’s also no question but that Apple is starting with some of the least profitable segments of its product line-up. iPhone, iPad, and iPod, after all, account for some 76 percent of Apple’s total sales.
But Cook’s statement mentioned that iPhone and iPad processors are manufactured in the U.S. as well. That the glass is made in Kentucky, and that all research and design is done in California.