NBC EXCLUSIVE: Apple CEO Tim Cook Says An Existing Mac Line Will Be Made In USA
NBCNEWS.COM - Apple CEO Tim Cook revealed that one of the existing Mac lines will be
manufactured exclusively in the United States next year, making the
comments during an exclusive interview with Brian Williams airing
tonight at 10pm/9c on NBC's "Rock Center." Mac fans will have to wait
to see which Mac line it will be because Apple, widely known for its
secrecy, left it vague.
"We've been working for years on doing more and more in the United States," Cook told Williams.
This announcement comes a week after recent rumors in the blogosphere sparked by iMacs inscribed in the back with "Assembled in USA."
was Timothy D. Cook's first interview since taking over from his
visionary former boss, Steve Jobs, who resigned due to health reasons in
August 2011. Jobs died on October 5, 2011, after a long battle with
The announcement could be good news for a
country that has been struggling with an unemployment rate of around 8
percent for some time and has been bleeding good-paying factory jobs to
lower-wage nations such as China.
Cook, who joined Apple in 1998,
said he believes it's important to bring more jobs to the United States.
Apple would not reveal where exactly the Macs will be manufactured.
you back up and look at Apple's effect on job creation in the United
States, we estimate that we've created more than 600,000 jobs now," said
Cook. Those jobs, not all Apple hires, vary from research and
development jobs in California to retail store hires to third-party app
developers. Apple already has data centers in North Carolina, Nevada
and Oregon and plans to build a new one in Texas.
Apple has taken a lot of heat over the past couple of years after a
rash of suicides at plants in China run by Foxconn drew attention to
working conditions at the world's largest contract supplier. Apple and
other manufacturers who have their gadgets produced by Foxconn were
forced to defend production in China. Earlier this year, Apple hired the
nonprofit Fair Labor Association to examine working conditions at
Foxconn, which makes some of Apple's most popular products: iPhones,
iPods and iPads.
Given that, why doesn't Apple leave China
entirely and manufacture everything in the U.S.? "It's not so much about
price, it's about the skills," Cook told Williams.
Echoing a theme stated by many other companies, Cook said he believes
the U.S. education system is failing to produce enough people with the
skills needed for modern manufacturing processes. He added, however,
that he hopes the new Mac project will help spur others to bring
manufacturing back to the U.S.
"The consumer electronics world was really never here," Cook said. "It's a matter of starting it here."
said he still misses Jobs, his friend and mentor, but that Jobs' advice
to him before he died was to do the things he thinks are right and not
try to guess "what Steve would do."
"I loved Steve dearly, and miss him dearly," Cook told Williams. "And
one of the things he did for me, that removed a gigantic burden that
would have normally existed, is he told me, on a couple of occasions
before he passed away, to never question what he would have done. Never
ask the question, ‘What Steve would do,' to just do what's right."
today is worth about 43 percent more than when Cook took over. Under
his leadership, Apple has released three new iMac models, two iPhones,
two iPads, and the iPad mini.
That's not to say there haven't been
some speed bumps. Most notable was the release of "Apple Maps," which
replaced the Google Maps app on the iPhone and was widely panned for
misleading directions. Cook admits they screwed up.
"On Maps, a
few years ago, we decided that we wanted to provide customers features
that we didn't have in the current edition of Maps," Cook said, "It
[Maps] didn't meet our customers' expectation, and our expectations of
ourselves are even higher than our customers'. However, I can tell you,
so we screwed up."
The Maps debacle led to the defenestration of some company
executives, including reportedly Richard Williamson, who oversaw the
"We screwed up and we are putting the weight of the company behind correcting it," Cook told Williams.
still snapped up the iPhone 5, however. According to Apple, five
million of them were sold in their first weekend after the device's
launch in September.
Speed bump No. 2 was the redesigned connector
for the iPhone 5, which was widely criticized by many because it didn't
fit many of the accessories Apple fans had already purchased for their
earlier iPhone versions. It forced them to purchase an adapter, which
some criticized as an inelegant solution. Others argue, however, that
the new connector was worth it because it allowed Apple to make a
"It was one of those things where we couldn't make this product with
that connector," Cook said, "But let me tell you, the product is so
What's next for Apple? Did Cook leave us with a clue?
I go into my living room and turn on the TV, I feel like I have gone
backwards in time by 20 to 30 years," Cook told Williams. "It's an area
of intense interest. I can't say more than that."
Note: Brian Williams full interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook airs
tonight, Dec. 6 at 10pm/9c on NBC's Rock Center with Brian Williams.
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