Top smartphone vendor Apple is reportedly eyeing a move to manufacture its devices in the good ol’ U.S. of A.
According to a report in Nikkei Asian Review, Apple asked two of its manufacturers – Foxconn and Pegatron – to look into making iPhones in the United States. Nikkei’s source said Foxconn obliged the request, but Pegatron declined based on “cost concerns.”
In September, a teardown analysis from IHS indicated the all-in production cost of the iPhone 7 hit $224.80 – nearly $37 more than the production cost of the iPhone 6S, mainly due to the increase in the base memory level. (Side note: Apple CEO Tim Cook said of teardowns on the company’s 2Q 2015 earnings call he’s “never seen one that is anywhere close to being accurate.”)
That cost, however, could skyrocket if production is moved stateside, Nikkei reported. According to Nikkei sources, costs could “more than double” if Apple makes its devices in the United States.
It’s possible the move comes in response to the election of Donald Trump as the next President of the United States.
On the campaign trail, Trump stressed a desire to bring manufacturing back to the United States, and in comments delivered at Liberty University in January pointed to Apple specifically.
“We’re going to get Apple to build their damn computers and things in this country instead of other countries,” Trump said according to a Gizmodo report.
As that report pointed out, Apple already produces its Mac Pro in Texas, and the president doesn’t have the authority to halt outsourcing. Additionally, Cook has previously said the United States lacks the number of skilled manufacturing workers Apple would need to move iPhone production to its home country. According to that CBS 60 Minutes report, around one million Chinese workers are involved in the production of Apple devices in China.
Still, it looks like Apple is hedging its bets, perhaps in case public sentiment swings in Trump’s favor to Apple’s detriment.