In 1995, Apple modified its logistic center in Elk Grove, California into a manufacturing plant. For several years the company produced some of its iMacs at the plant until Tim Cook, senior vice president of worldwide operations at the time, moved the production lines to China. However, it seems that Apple is manufacturing some of its desktop computers in the United States again.
In a recent teardown of the new iMac by iFixit, a standard 21 inch model was used with 'Assembled in USA' etched into the aluminium. All iMacs used to be assembled in China, except for refurbished or customized models. On Apple's support forum, someone posted a picture of the previous standard 27 inch model which is assembled in the USA according to both the back of the iMac's stand and the label on the box. A reader of Business Insider found a USA-labeled iMac as well:
A reader emailed to said their new iMac was assembled in USA. Anyone know what this is about? twitter.com/jyarow/status/…— Jay Yarow (@jyarow) December 1, 2012
Although the stock iMac models could be small first batch and represents a limited run, the 'Assembled in USA' label is bound to some interesting rules of the Federal Trade Commision:
A product that includes foreign components may be called "Assembled in USA" without qualification when its principal assembly takes place in the U.S. and the assembly is substantial. For the "assembly" claim to be valid, the product’s last "substantial transformation" also should have occurred in the U.S. That’s why a "screwdriver" assembly in the U.S. of foreign components into a final product at the end of the manufacturing process doesn’t usually qualify for the "Assembled in USA" claim.
Example: All the major components of a computer, including the motherboard and hard drive, are imported. The computer’s components then are put together in a simple "screwdriver" operation in the U.S., are not substantially transformed under the Customs Standard, and must be marked with a foreign country of origin. An "Assembled in U.S." claim without further qualification is deceptive.
There are other speculations that could be related to Apple bringing part of its production back to the US. This year for example, Apple has been hiring big at its Elk Grove facility according to the Sacramento Business Journal, which could potentially be a secret manufacturing base.
Do you own an American assembled iMac? Let us know.