Apple's new Mac Pro is being manufactured in China

Posted:
in General Discussion edited June 28
After six years of manufacturing the cylindrical Mac Pro in Texas, Apple has shifted production of the new Mac Pro abroad to China, even as trade tensions escalate between the U.S. and China.

Tim Cook unveils the Mac Pro


Apple's Mac Pro was the company's only major device assembled in the United States. The move comes as a surprise, as Apple faces increased tariffs on products imported to the U.S. from China. The tariffs would affect all of Apple's products, including the iPhone, iPad, and all Mac computers.

Apple has signed with contractor Quanta Computer Inc., a company that has worked with Apple in the past, to manufacture their new Mac Pro. Quanta Computer has begun increasing production at a factory near Shanghai.

The decision is likely influenced by Quanta's distance to other Apple suppliers across Asia, making it possible to achieve lower shipping costs than if components were shipped from the United States. Analysts have stated that any move Apple would make to move production out of China would take multiple years.

Apple had previously invested $100 million in tooling and other equipment for Flex Ltd., a manufacturing plant in Austin Texas, hoping to be able to shift some production back to the U.S. at the behest of policy makers. However, this has proved to be an expensive investment, and most Apple products are still primarily manufactured in China to keep production costs lower.

According to the Wall Street Journal, a spokesperson at Apple said the new Mac Pro is designed and engineered in the U.S., and includes U.S.-made parts. Apple also stated that it supports manufacturing in 30 U.S. states and spent $60 billion last year with over 9,000 U.S. suppliers.

Flex and Quanta have so far declined to comment on the matter.

Flex workers will likely not be affected as the company has pivoted to refurbishing ready-made computers and has open contracts with HP Inc. and other companies, according to former Flex employees.
«1

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 33
    genovellegenovelle Posts: 980member
    This does not surprise most who pay attention to the why the current ecosystem works. Our economy is no longer designed for mass production of electronic devices. Cars are a different animal, but even then many of the resources come from abroad. 

    Many have said time and again. It would be far too expensive for Apple to build here in mass quantities. The would be completely priced outlet of every market including the US. 
    racerhomie3ronnCarnagewatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 33
    wozwozwozwoz Posts: 243member
    Apple will not need to build the new Mac Pro in mass quantities, because they are only going to sell 102 of them. Or some small number catering to a high-end niche. Given what is happening at the political level, that decision to produce a niche high-end product off-shore appears to be ill-considered, and will very likely soon be the subject of a tariff. That should come as no surprise. 
    elijahgdysamoriabigtdsentropyspscooter63kestralolstyler82Carnagechemengin1
  • Reply 3 of 33
    bloggerblogbloggerblog Posts: 1,871member
    Manufactured != Assembled

    The US has the best design minds and facilities, China has the best manufacturing infrastructure. A company like Apple needs factories who can provide volume. You can thank Bubya Junior making the US so dependent on China.
    "The movement of American factory jobs and white-collar work to other countries is part of a positive transformation that will enrich the U.S. economy over time, even if it causes short-term pain and dislocation, the Bush administration said Monday." - LA Times, 2004


    StrangeDaysSpamSandwichronnwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 33
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 2,325member
    Unsurprised. Disappointed, but unsurprised. Still, it’s not like I am part of Apple’s Mac Pro product line market/customer base anymore anyway. They kicked me out of that product line because I’m not a huge corporation. So, whatever.
    ElCapitanwozwozdavenkestral
  • Reply 5 of 33
    ravnorodomravnorodom Posts: 238member
    The Mac Pro would've been easily $8K on base model if made in USA. I wonder why don't they do the same with Apple Stand? 
    forgot username
  • Reply 6 of 33
    Assembly only of course, but it makes the eye-popping cost all the more glaring. ZDNET did an interesting breakdown of the costs for the lowest end Mac Pro. Not surprisingly, they conclude it is super overpriced. https://www.zdnet.com/article/deconstructing-the-base-mac-pro-why-is-it-so-expensive/
    caladaniankestralchemengin1
  • Reply 7 of 33
    jcs2305jcs2305 Posts: 841member
    genovelle said:
    This does not surprise most who pay attention to the why the current ecosystem works. Our economy is no longer designed for mass production of electronic devices. Cars are a different animal, but even then many of the resources come from abroad. 

    Many have said time and again. It would be far too expensive for Apple to build here in mass quantities. The would be completely priced outlet of every market including the US. 
    Why is it not surprising? Apple had formerly made the Mac Pro here and was the only product they made here.  If not surprising it's a bit confusing as to why they would do this now with the current China tariff situation.  It even mentions in the article that the machine included US made parts? Just seems strange to me...
    chasmchemengin1
  • Reply 8 of 33
    davgregdavgreg Posts: 471member
    cynegils said:
    Assembly only of course, but it makes the eye-popping cost all the more glaring. ZDNET did an interesting breakdown of the costs for the lowest end Mac Pro. Not surprisingly, they conclude it is super overpriced. https://www.zdnet.com/article/deconstructing-the-base-mac-pro-why-is-it-so-expensive/
    Apple has kept fat profit margins for a very long time and this is the top end of the market.

    Anyone who has (over)paid for Apple installed memory knows this is SOP.

    As to the assembly in China, making things in the US is expensive and the workforce does not produce in such a way to justify the cost. The US auto industry is migrating out of the country just like everything else over the last 50 years. Daimler’s Mercedes and VW’s Audi are joining BMW in making luxury cars for the US in Mexico. A rather large portion of Chevrolet, GMC and Ram (Dodge) pickup trucks are now made in Mexico. There is no discernible difference in quality but there is a huge difference in labor costs.
    To be honest, in much of the US the labor pool for assembly line labor is inferior to that which can be easily found elsewhere.
    DAalsethdewme
  • Reply 9 of 33
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,744member
    I’m disappointed by it,  sure, I’ll most likely never own one anyways, but enjoyed knowing the prior Mac Pro was made in the  U.S.  So strange to invest all that money to tool here, only to abandon it.
  • Reply 10 of 33
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 833member
    Anyone who can afford the new Mac Pro, with maximum CPU and memory, and its top-line monitor probably doesn't even ask "how much is it, and how much are the tariffs?"

    I suppose Apple could have the $999 stand manufactured in America to avoid tariffs on that component. I'm sure American can manufacture a metal stand.
    macplusplus
  • Reply 11 of 33
    19831983 Posts: 1,199member
    A little disappointing and surprising. I thought as the Mac Pro is such a niche product. The increased manufacturing costs of made in the USA wouldn’t affect it that much, as its premium priced anyway. I genuinely thought they would continue to manufacture it in the States as they did the discontinued version. 
    caladanianwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 33
    “It has sometimes been said, that slavery is necessary, because the commodities they raise would be too dear for market if cultivated by freemen; but now it is said that the labor of the slave is dearest” (Thomas Jefferson, Autobiography).

    “as yet our manufacturers are as much at their ease, as independent & moral as our agricultural inhabitants, and they will continue so as long as there are vacant lands for them to resort to; because whenever it shall be attempted by the other classes to reduce them to the minimum of subsistence, they will quit their trades and go to labouring the earth” (Thomas Jefferson to John Lithgow, January 4, 1805).

    Supporting freemen is high among my priorities and thereby my budget is prioritized to pay them, to support human rights. I expect better of Apple’s management who live safely ensconced amid liberty while foregoing the opportunity to support their neighbors who bear significant burdens of this liberty but who aren’t among the worlds top “design minds,” neither have available to them “vacant lands … to resort to.”
    ronnforgot username
  • Reply 13 of 33
    macplusplusmacplusplus Posts: 1,919member
    Considering the political circumstances under which the production is shifted to China, they probably have a big sales projection for that model. There should be an immediate demand, and that demand must be fulfilled right now for such a move. Army, NASA, government... You know, cyber warfare... ultimate security... T2 chip etc. etc. etc...
    edited June 28 ronn
  • Reply 14 of 33
    sacto joesacto joe Posts: 796member
    Those complaining about this forget that Apple is a business, not a charity. If Microsoft did this, nobody would bat an eye.

    And yes, Apple is in China to stay.

    More interesting to me is considering if this is a “tell”, with Apple tipping it’s hand on where it thinks the Trump/China trade war is heading. IMHO, President Trump has one chance to win re-election, and that is to put this trade war to bed fairly soon with a “win”, i.e., something he can at least paint as a win (see recent Mexico outcome). Apple may be betting on the same outcome. At worst, they’ll have to endure a tariff that will only hurt until President Trump is out of office.

    So making the right cost savings decision now both makes their product more affordable and shows the Chinese they aren’t going anywhere soon.
  • Reply 15 of 33
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,697member
    Manufactured != Assembled

    The US has the best design minds and facilities, China has the best manufacturing infrastructure. A company like Apple needs factories who can provide volume. You can thank Bubya Junior making the US so dependent on China.
    To be fair, the Bush administration (whom I hate defending) was correct, at least partially. Moving manufacturing to China (and the resulting lack of a rise in wages for skilled jobs) are HUGE factors in what is keeping inflation low, so if you’re underpaid for your work (and that’s nearly everyone anymore), then yes it yielded a huge benefit — anything you buy that was made in China is likely priced at about half the price it would be if it were made in the US.

    You’re quite correct that assembling (which is what was actually done in the US wrt the 2013 Mac Pro) is only part of the manufacturing process, not the whole of it — most of the guts were created outside the US. That said, Apple does spend a lot of money on US makers too — as the company says, about $60B a year. That’s not huge compared to what it spends with Foxconn, but it is a substantial amount of money.

    The disadvantage of moving manufacturing to other countries isn’t so much a loss of jobs as it is a suppression of wages — most people are making the same amount of money they made 20 years ago, which means they are actually making less thanks to the corrosion of their buying power.

    Anyway, to drag this back on topic — by the time Apple does another major redesign of the Mac Pro, it will be made entirely by robots, so in the meantime I hope the government figures out what to do with the labour pool whose jobs are being/will be replaced. UBI seems to be the best option at this point, but other ideas are also welcome.
  • Reply 16 of 33
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,697member
    dysamoria said:
    Unsurprised. Disappointed, but unsurprised. Still, it’s not like I am part of Apple’s Mac Pro product line market/customer base anymore anyway. They kicked me out of that product line because I’m not a huge corporation. So, whatever.
    So any product that Apple makes that does not meet your needs means they’ve “kicked you out of that product line”?

    Grrrr, mean old Apple have kicked me out of the iPod Touch! What a bunch of bastards!

    LOL some people really advertise their foolishness, don’t they?
    fastasleep
  • Reply 17 of 33
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,697member
    cynegils said:
    ZDNET did an interesting breakdown of the costs for the lowest end Mac Pro. Not surprisingly, they conclude it is super overpriced.
    Once again for the dim ones in the back — a BOM breakdown does not represent the actual cost of a product. Any product.

    By way of illustration, please do find me a workstation that is as close as possible to the Mac Pro in specs, ports, and software, and yet priced far below the base cost.

    Go ahead, I’ll wait.
    ronn
  • Reply 18 of 33
    KITAKITA Posts: 201member
    chasm said:
    cynegils said:
    ZDNET did an interesting breakdown of the costs for the lowest end Mac Pro. Not surprisingly, they conclude it is super overpriced.
    Once again for the dim ones in the back — a BOM breakdown does not represent the actual cost of a product. Any product.

    By way of illustration, please do find me a workstation that is as close as possible to the Mac Pro in specs, ports, and software, and yet priced far below the base cost.

    Go ahead, I’ll wait.
    Most workstations from the big three come with minimum 3 years of on-site warranty included (for ~$140 extra it can go to 5 years next day service), loads of ISV certifications and NVIDIA RTX Quadro graphics options. 

    They also typically can cost companies 10%~20% less than what Dell/HP/Lenovo's websites show and are actually on the market today, and not in a few months when new and refreshed models are due.

    Apple is not even close to offering that type of value.

    majorsl
  • Reply 19 of 33
    Me wonders if China is subsidizing Apple's shipping costs?  I know China subsidizes their domestic producers...  Maybe Apple is so intent on keeping their production in China because of this big help, courtesy of the PRC.
  • Reply 20 of 33
    majorslmajorsl Posts: 119unconfirmed, member
    KITA said:
    chasm said:
    cynegils said:
    ZDNET did an interesting breakdown of the costs for the lowest end Mac Pro. Not surprisingly, they conclude it is super overpriced.
    Once again for the dim ones in the back — a BOM breakdown does not represent the actual cost of a product. Any product.

    By way of illustration, please do find me a workstation that is as close as possible to the Mac Pro in specs, ports, and software, and yet priced far below the base cost.

    Go ahead, I’ll wait.
    Most workstations from the big three come with minimum 3 years of on-site warranty included (for ~$140 extra it can go to 5 years next day service), loads of ISV certifications and NVIDIA RTX Quadro graphics options. 

    They also typically can cost companies 10%~20% less than what Dell/HP/Lenovo's websites show and are actually on the market today, and not in a few months when new and refreshed models are due.

    Apple is not even close to offering that type of value.

    Well, he didn't have to wait very long, at least.
    KITA
Sign In or Register to comment.