Apple recently announced that they’re going to move some of the production of iMacs back to the United States in 2013. With their renewed commitment to keeping jobs in the U.S., Apple can truly be held up as example of what American industry should strive for. As we struggle toward economic recovery and business models across fields changing with the digital age, a good example shouldn’t be undervalued.
Apple is symbolic of the American potential for innovation and strong business, but the sad side of that has been the outsourced production, which began in the late 1990s. Apple’s claims that it couldn’t afford to produce its products in the U.S. always seemed to me to beg the question: if Apple can’t do it, can anyone? If one of the world’s biggest, most successful companies can’t afford to keep production here, is that part of American industry doomed? This decision is a little glimmer of hope that maybe it’s not.
Apple came under fire in January when the New York Times reported that a lot of the company’s production in China was done in terrible conditions. The company contracted to do the production, Foxconn, was later found to use forced labor and violate several other labor regulations.
To be fair to Apple, they already provide lots of jobs in the U.S., from their Apple stores to advertising and the final stages of production, which were already done here. The chief executive, Timothy Cook, told Business Week that they’ve already created more than 600,000 American jobs. But they’re stepping up their game. The company plans to spend $100 million on their increase in American manufacturing next year, according to the Times.
There hasn’t been any statement yet as to whether the move will affect the price of Apple products.