Rumors abound that Tim Cook has asked the assembly contractors for Apple’s products to look into how to transition production to the USA
Whether it is true or not and whether the truth of the reason is because of Trump I’d say that it’s a longer term goal of Apple’s to move more and more production to the USA.
Many declare the cost of the device will have to go up and might make it unaffordable but really that’s not as big a deal. Both Foxconn and Pegatron have been incorporating more and more robotic assembly and it is very likely that they have become aware that they may have to move the production to the USA at some time. As wages rise in China it comes less desirable to throw just another few thousand cheap employee’s at the contract. In fact the more robotic inclusion the more desirable it is for these companies to start producing within the USA.
Why would it be better to move production to the USA for both Foxconn and Pegatron. First of all they have a bad reputation and these SJW groups that police them always target Apple while they would suddenly not give a crap, like they don’t give a crap other companies device production and the abuses to the staff, and allow for them to reduce their payroll.
When Foxconn started implementing robots into the iPhone product process two years ago I believe that was really to get the process implementation so that not only could they reduce the chinese employee’s but Apple could test a more automated assembly process.
Apple already have some production within the USA
Remember that the Mac Pro, the trash can shaped computer is already manufacturered in the USA and this was also a test to see how they could build devices in the USA and this low sale product is the perfect test piece, even at full production it is only going to be like a test run for bigger volume production and Apple is happy to invest in robotic production processes for their contractors.
What can we expect next though?
I wouldn’t expect a sudden jump to producing the iPhone in the USA straight away, I would expect that the iMac will be the first product to join the Mac Pro in the USA for assembly or Manufacture.
The iMac, like the Mac Pro, is relatively lower volume production and a great product to transition to production within the USA and would then build from there, maybe including any new version of the Mac Mini in the USA, this is very likely a perfect example of a product that can be almost totally robotized with very low man power required and an equally low volume of production.
Even so, expect iPhone, iPad production to only be partially done in the USA, more as a token or to accommodate the sales in the USA and Canada and a token production and a further test.
Apple are unlikely to jump all in, even, if Donald Trump threatens them.
Many people have ruminated over this and dug deep and many estimate that in real terms the cost even with a heavily manpowered production facility that the price of the products would only increase by a small amount and Apple may even choose to absorb this cost against gambling that sales would be driven upwards on a “Designed in Cupertino, Made In The USA” making people lean towards purchasing the iPhone over Android devices made outside the USA.
Either way, it is just a rumor and until we see or hear more then it will remain a rumor and what I have said is just my typical speculation and in some cases I may be right and in many cases may be wrong.