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Foxconn seeks expansion to US as Apple gears up for made-in-America Macs

post #1 of 48
Thread Starter 
As Apple plans to begin building one full line of Macs in the U.S. in 2013, the company's primary assembly partner, Foxconn, is working to expand its operations in America.

A spokesperson for Foxconn indicated to Bloomberg that its partners have requested that more products be built stateside. Luis Woo said that challenges for Foxconn include a need for skilled engineers in America.

"We're looking at doing more manufacturing in the U.S. because, in general, customers want more to be done there," Woo said without naming specific clients.

The comments come as Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook has revealed that his company will spend $100 million to produce one entire line of Macs in the U.S. next year. Cook declined to say exactly which Mac product will be built domestically.

Foxconn


"We've been working on this for a long time, and we're getting closer to it. It will happen in 2013," he said. "We're really proud of it. We could have quickly maybe done just assembly, but it's broader because we wanted to do something more substantial."

Cook's comments indicate that assembly, which is handled by Foxconn, will only be part of Apple's solution, suggesting that Apple's investment could also be related to individual components. Earlier this year, AppleInsider offered an in-depth look at how iPhone parts are made across the globe before they are assembled for the final product in China.

The comments from Foxconn also lend support to a rumor from last month that claimed the Taiwan-based manufacturing company was looking to establish new plants in America. Specifically cited as potential locations were Los Angeles, Calif., and Detroit, Mich.

Cook
Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook personally visited a Foxconn factory in China earlier this year.


Terry Gou, chairman of Foxconn, also revealed at a public event that his company is planning a training program for U.S.-based engineers. Through a planned partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Foxconn hopes to bring American engineers to Taiwan or China to be involved in product design or manufacturing.

Companies such as Apple have come under fire for their reliance on Chinese labor for the assembly of popular electronic devices. Critics have contended that wages are too low, and have pointed to employee suicides as evidence of poor working conditions.
post #2 of 48

Heh...want to bet they'll pay better and offer more benefits than Walmart.

post #3 of 48
Detroit, Michigan? Really??
post #4 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by macinthe408 View Post

Detroit, Michigan? Really??

Why not? Plenty of ex car assembly workers there.

post #5 of 48

Yep, the Detroit area has a sh!t ton of unemployed skilled workers.  Also a good number of engineering schools thanks to the auto companies.  Assembly lines don't need MIT engineers, they just need solid engineers.  MI is also used to giving manufacturing companies ginormous tax breaks for moving production into MI (or keeping it here).

post #6 of 48

God I hope not, I'd loose all respect for Apple if they went to Detroit.   They, they being Apple and Foxconn, would be far better off looking towards smaller cities across America where people are still willing to work and don't have the need to support reckless unions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by macinthe408 View Post

Detroit, Michigan? Really??
post #7 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by UrbanVerb View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by macinthe408 View Post

Detroit, Michigan? Really??

Why not? Plenty of ex car assembly workers there.

 

Exactly, car assembly workers are the whole problem with locating in Detroit.    There are plenty of places within the US where new factories could be located without getting involved with the ignorance of the UAW work force.   I'm not against unions here, I'm against unions that protect lazy shiftless workers and in general do more harm with respect to the companies that employee their worker than good.

post #8 of 48

I'd guess the line of Macs that they would make stateside would be the Mac Pro.  It's a lower volume unit that customers are already used to paying a premium price for.  And the manufacturing isn't as difficult as some of the more detailed products.

 

Detroit would be a fine location to look at, since there is a glut of unemployed workers there that have manufacturing experience.

post #9 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by macinthe408 View Post

Detroit, Michigan? Really??

 

Bad idea.  Better to go with LA.  

 

All those Chinese workers will blend in better.  Larger Asian-American population in LA.

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post #10 of 48
There's $1 B off the U.S. trade deficit (or more, depending on which product they produce).
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post #11 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Jojade View Post

I'd guess the line of Macs that they would make stateside would be the Mac Pro.  It's a lower volume unit that customers are already used to paying a premium price for.  And the manufacturing isn't as difficult as some of the more detailed products.

 

How about making the Apple big-screen TV in the US?

 

It will probably sell in higher volume than the Mac Pro, but it should be much easier to assemble because miniaturization isn't a critical design factor.

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post #12 of 48
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Originally Posted by nht View Post

Heh...want to bet they'll pay better and offer more benefits than Walmart.

Not working at all will get you better pay and benefits than working at Walmart.
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post #13 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Exactly, car assembly workers are the whole problem with locating in Detroit.    There are plenty of places within the US where new factories could be located without getting involved with the ignorance of the UAW work force.   I'm not against unions here, I'm against unions that protect lazy shiftless workers and in general do more harm with respect to the companies that employee their worker than good.

 

You fooled me.  I thought you were against unions in general. 

 

Being from the area, I agree that they are generally overpaid and spoiled, and given to whining, but while some are "lazy and shiftless," most are not.  As for them doing harm to companies, GM does plenty of harm to themselves with their lazy, shiftless, and ignorant executives.  If you put GM's management in charge of selling heroin, they would fu[k that up, too.  A bunch of entitled pricks is what they are.  I know several engineers employed at GM, and they say it's a constant struggle to keep good ideas from getting killed by management.  Many a promising prototype has been killed when an excutive has seen it and freaked because the styling isn't conservative enough, or the dashboard is "too boring", i.e., functional.  

post #14 of 48
The Detroit area is where Element Electronics has started assembling TV in the U.S. earlier this year - they are the only TV company assembling TVs in the United States. This shows that other companies have looked to Detroit as an area to make it work, so it makes sense that it's a consideration for Foxconn and Apple as well.
post #15 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Junkyard Dawg View Post

You fooled me.  I thought you were against unions in general. 

Being from the area, I agree that they are generally overpaid and spoiled, and given to whining, but while some are "lazy and shiftless," most are not.  As for them doing harm to companies, GM does plenty of harm to themselves with their lazy, shiftless, and ignorant executives.  If you put GM's management in charge of selling heroin, they would fu[k that up, too.  A bunch of entitled pricks is what they are.  I know several engineers employed at GM, and they say it's a constant struggle to keep good ideas from getting killed by management.  Many a promising prototype has been killed when an excutive has seen it and freaked because the styling isn't conservative enough, or the dashboard is "too boring", i.e., functional.  

I'm sure it isn't just GM with brilliant idea killing executives. The guys with the Xbox idea had to go straight to Gates to get it approved. Their immediate manager was dead set against it.
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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post #16 of 48
Its a natural progression. As China becomes more prosperous and wages there rise, the United States becomes relatively more competitive. Its the same with the Japanese car manufacturers that now assemble cards in the USA. Add declining wages in the USA due to the ongoing recession and it gets even more attractive. If they are smart, they will locate in a low tax state with right to work laws to ensure ongoing competitiveness.
post #17 of 48

Michigan ranks fourth in the U.S. in high tech employment with 568,000 high tech workers, which includes 70,000 in the automotive industry.

post #18 of 48
So happy to see this. It's not that I'm totally against products being made in China though there are too many products made there and it's getting annoying.
post #19 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by SockRolid View Post

 

Bad idea.  Better to go with LA.  

 

All those Chinese workers will blend in better.  Larger Asian-American population in LA.

Racist.

post #20 of 48

Very good news. 

post #21 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by huffcw View Post

The Detroit area is where Element Electronics has started assembling TV in the U.S. earlier this year - they are the only TV company assembling TVs in the United States. This shows that other companies have looked to Detroit as an area to make it work, so it makes sense that it's a consideration for Foxconn and Apple as well.

given that Apple's not into boat shipping product, TVs and MacPros are good US sited manufacturing.  

 

The problem with 'small town' locations for factories is turnover problems.  The lack of infrastructure and often a service industry to both support and quickly grow with an influx of income and families (often growing as the 2nd/3rd income of a family).  Urban factories are smarter in the big picture in terms of controlling sprawl, utilizing mass transit, and faster startup time (more potential employees, likely the infrastructure is in place, university/college/tech training etc).

 

Detroit is a reasonable location, and having other electronics assembly in the area brings critical mass.  Cost of living is much lower than Silicon Valley or LA/SoCal.

post #22 of 48
As DigiTimes pointed out a few weeks age, Foxconn wants to build TV panels in the U.S., I think it was 80 to above 100 inches in size. Possibly for Apple?

Edit: I may be mixing two stories together, can't check right now, and just assuming that the U.S. manufacturing would be about their announced intention to make large TVs.
Edited by Flaneur - 12/6/12 at 9:48am
post #23 of 48
I bet it'll be a "right to work" state.
post #24 of 48
Originally Posted by TheOtherGeoff View Post
Racist.

 

In what capacity?

 

Originally Posted by Flaneur View Post
As DigiTimes pointed out a few weeks age, Foxconn wants to build TV panels in the U.S., I think it was 80 to above 100 inches in size. Possibly for Apple?
 

Better be SHV, otherwise the pixels will be too large to look at.

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
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Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply
post #25 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

There's $1 B off the U.S. trade deficit (or more, depending on which product they produce).

Then there'd only be $281B to go to even us up with China.

http://www.ustr.gov/countries-regions/china

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post #26 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Better be SHV, otherwise the pixels will be too large to look at.

I believe the story used the brilliant term "Ultra HD".
post #27 of 48

Unions have their place but some get out of control, the UAW is a prime example of a Union that is out of control, corrupt and frankly not operating in the best interests of the people that it is supposedly protecting.   

Quote:
Originally Posted by Junkyard Dawg View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Exactly, car assembly workers are the whole problem with locating in Detroit.    There are plenty of places within the US where new factories could be located without getting involved with the ignorance of the UAW work force.   I'm not against unions here, I'm against unions that protect lazy shiftless workers and in general do more harm with respect to the companies that employee their worker than good.

 

You fooled me.  I thought you were against unions in general. 

 

Being from the area, I agree that they are generally overpaid and spoiled, and given to whining, but while some are "lazy and shiftless," most are not.  As for them doing harm to companies, GM does plenty of harm to themselves with their lazy, shiftless, and ignorant executives.  If you put GM's management in charge of selling heroin, they would fu[k that up, too.  A bunch of entitled pricks is what they are.  I know several engineers employed at GM, and they say it's a constant struggle to keep good ideas from getting killed by management.  Many a promising prototype has been killed when an excutive has seen it and freaked because the styling isn't conservative enough, or the dashboard is "too boring", i.e., functional.  

Bad management doesn't really come into this discussion.   Hell even Apple has suffered through some really significant management blunders.    The problem with going to Detroit is that you end up supporting a culture that isn't conducive to manufacturing in the USA.   Frankly the area hasn't suffered enough to break the mindset of the Union workers there.   

post #28 of 48
Originally Posted by Flaneur View Post
I believe the story used the brilliant term "Ultra HD".

 

Normally I consider the Japanese penchant for English superlatives unprofessional at best (and a little silly at worst), but I really like the name "Super Hi-Vision", and it lends itself well to a disambiguous acronym where "HD" is concerned.

 

"Ah, is that panel HD? 4K?"
"No, it's SHV!"

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply
post #29 of 48

I think this is awesome. As someone who tries to buy as much as possibly made in USA, I will be looking forward to owning whatever product they decide to make here. Let hope this is just the beginning and they continue to make/assemble more products in the US.

post #30 of 48

In my experience, the younger generation of  UAW members aren't as demanding as previous ones.  They know they can't expect the same sort of pay and benefits.  There are plenty of skilled unemployed workers in the area who would love the chance to work at an Apple assembly line, and I'd bet they would go non-union if that's what it took.  Before 2008 I'd have agreed with you about the mindset that needed "breaking", but not now.  GM's near-liquidation was a moment of truth for everyone involved.  

 

I only brought bad management into it because I don't believe all of the American auto industry's problems can be blamed on unions.  Unions are often scapegoated by bad managers who don't take a lick of responsibility for any of their colossal eff ups (looking at GM's management while I type this).  Apple would bring an entirely different management culture to the area and thus we wouldn't see the same old dance between unions and management that we get with the UAW and GM (which is now changing, albeit too slowly).

 

Anyways, I don't believe Apple is moving to this area, because I don't think they could keep it quiet.  A new manufacturing facility in SE Michigan would just be too much news to go without notice.  

post #31 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by trobbi33 View Post

I think this is awesome. As someone who tries to buy as much as possibly made in USA, I will be looking forward to owning whatever product they decide to make here. Let hope this is just the beginning and they continue to make/assemble more products in the US.

 

Same here.  I hope it's the new Mac Pro - I'd love to own a Mac Pro made in America.  It would be cool to lord it over all my rah rah Made In America relatives who are hard-core PC users.  Heh.

 

I'd buy it at an Apple Store just so I could drive it home in my Volt!

post #32 of 48

The problem we have is that the area demonstrated clearly that the mind set hasn't changed at all, after all most of Detroit voted for Obama.   You may see that as political and frankly it is but it highlights the expectation of the area.    It is still very much a give me culture.    It would have been far better for the area to see GM liquidated as it would have sent shock waves through both the UAW and the management rank in the auto industry.

 

In any event I have a problem with trying to tie the issues related to the UAW with the management of GM.   There is no mistaking the idea that the Management team at GM sucks.   They have pretty clearly screwed up the company but frankly that really has nothing to do with just how bad of an idea it would be to locate a new business in the Detroit area.   

 

As to Apple they would bring nothing to the area.   Cook clearly stated that they would not be building anything but would continue to maintain a relationship with a contractor.   In effect your would see a Foxconn style management practices.   As to the song and dance with the Unions, you can't say that at all, as I indicated before it is the mentality of the area to be at odds with management.   The issues with poor work ethic would not go away, nor would the issues with unions protecting undesirable workers.   Frankly it would be absolutely ugly as Foxconn struggles to get any sort of productivity out of the plant.

 

Again this wouldn't be Apple moving into the area, it would be Foxconn.   I'm still not convinced it is in Apple best interest to locate a factory in the US for political reasons.    Making business moves for political reasons seldom works out well in the long run.    Diversifying manufacturing is sound business though but you need to choose locations where it won't be an uphill battle.   In that regard almost anyplace other than Detroit would work out better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Junkyard Dawg View Post

In my experience, the younger generation of  UAW members aren't as demanding as previous ones.  They know they can't expect the same sort of pay and benefits.  There are plenty of skilled unemployed workers in the area who would love the chance to work at an Apple assembly line, and I'd bet they would go non-union if that's what it took.  Before 2008 I'd have agreed with you about the mindset that needed "breaking", but not now.  GM's near-liquidation was a moment of truth for everyone involved.  

 

I only brought bad management into it because I don't believe all of the American auto industry's problems can be blamed on unions.  Unions are often scapegoated by bad managers who don't take a lick of responsibility for any of their colossal eff ups (looking at GM's management while I type this).  Apple would bring an entirely different management culture to the area and thus we wouldn't see the same old dance between unions and management that we get with the UAW and GM (which is now changing, albeit too slowly).

 

Anyways, I don't believe Apple is moving to this area, because I don't think they could keep it quiet.  A new manufacturing facility in SE Michigan would just be too much news to go without notice.  

post #33 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Junkyard Dawg View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by trobbi33 View Post

I think this is awesome. As someone who tries to buy as much as possibly made in USA, I will be looking forward to owning whatever product they decide to make here. Let hope this is just the beginning and they continue to make/assemble more products in the US.

 

Same here.  I hope it's the new Mac Pro - I'd love to own a Mac Pro made in America.  It would be cool to lord it over all my rah rah Made In America relatives who are hard-core PC users.  Heh.

 

I'd buy it at an Apple Store just so I could drive it home in my Volt!

If a American built Mac Pro float your boat, you might just get it.   The Mac Pro seems to be the most likely candidate for being American built followed closely by the Mini.   Actually if you combine this rumor with the idea of an all new Mac Pro next year we could be seeing something radically different machine wise.   I can't see the current Mac Pro being something that is optimized for mass production so maybe Apple takes a new approach with this machine.   Dare I say they will make the Mac Pro easier to assembly for Americans.

 

As for that Chevy Volt purchase I hope you don't live to regret that buy.   

post #34 of 48

Apple has long led in automated assembly. The guy who led the Classic Mac automated assembly project went on to do the same for the Iridium communications satellite where for coverage purposes the system required so many that "mass production" had to be implemented rather than the then-standard, hand made.

post #35 of 48
put the assembly line for imacs in the Now defunct plant for Twinkies... LOL
post #36 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Normally I consider the Japanese penchant for English superlatives unprofessional at best (and a little silly at worst), but I really like the name "Super Hi-Vision", and it lends itself well to a disambiguous acronym where "HD" is concerned.

"Ah, is that panel HD? 4K?"

"No, it's SHV!"

and coming soon to BEST BUY... the new quote "I just SHV'ed a customer!"... LOL
post #37 of 48
Originally Posted by haar View Post
and coming soon to BEST BUY... the new quote "I just SHV'ed a customer!"... LOL

 

Provided Best Buy isn't insolvent by the time SHV televisions are available. lol.gif

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply
post #38 of 48

deleted


Edited by MacRulez - 1/28/13 at 8:36pm
post #39 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Provided Best Buy isn't insolvent by the time SHV televisions are available. lol.gif

Yeah really. At the rate they're going.
post #40 of 48
"Companies such as Apple have come under fire for their reliance on Chinese labor for the assembly of popular electronic devices. Critics have contended that wages are too low..." - so the solution for low wages is to take their jobs away????? Good grief!
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