Apple today unveiled plans to manufacture at least one Mac computer in the US. Many assumed that this would be the iMac – after all, there are already models of the new iMac that are “assembled” in the United States.
Other think differently. Alexander Hoffman makes a strong case that the mysterious U.S.-made Mac will be Apple’s next-generation Mac Pro. A new Mac Pro was promised by Tim Cook earlier this year, when he stated that Apple would be shipping a product that would interest Pro users in 2013. That statement aligns quite well with today’s statements regarding the expansion of U.S.-based manufacturing.
It isn’t just circumstantial evidence, though. Hoffman notes that the Mac Pro has a much higher price than any other Mac, so the costs of having it manufactured locally as opposed to in China or elsewhere could be more easily eaten. It also helps that the Mac Pro is Apple’s least popular line: there wouldn’t have to be a large number of machines made in a short period of time to meet demand.
So while it looks as if the Mac Pro or the iMac may soon be made in the U.S., it doesn’t seem likely that Apple’s portable laptops will be. The portables are subject to lower profit margins, and are also in much higher demand than the desktops. The portables also take advantage of some very advanced manufacturing techniques, and these techniques are only available in specific locations across the globe.