Manufacturing Apple Products in the US

The WSJ had a short article the other day regarding Apple manufacturing parts for their products in the US. Truth is Apple makes quite a bit for their products in the states, including the processors and the glass that covers the front of all of their iOS devices. (and the back of the iPhone) They point out that one of the biggest problems with manufacturing their products in the US is that their just aren't enough manufacturing engineers.

I don't totally buy this as a reason, and I don't necessarily think Apple believes it either. They don't need an army of engineers to help them manufacture their products here, just a handful. They're Apple, they could find the best engineers in the country, and many of them would come out of the woodworks to be a part of that.

The bigger issue is that the assembly of their products is just incredibly labor intensive. Their finally assembly for the iPhone has somewhere in the range of 100+ screws. Those don't get inserted by machine. And believe me, you cannot pay American wages for that kind of manual assembly, for 30-40 million devices a quarter.

But sub assemblies on the other hand, this is where American can knock it out of the park. In addition to the processors, American companies could be making the flash memory, the circuit boards, the circuit board assembly, all of these various sub assemblies that are heavily automated. I know Apple is proud to be an American company. The late Steve Jobs even said so during their "Antennagate" press conference. I think it's very likely that Apple is looking to find ways to produce more of their sub assemblies here. I hope they look at WAi for help! (I'm not holding my breath)