President Donald Trump wants to "make America great again", and part of that plan includes an American-made iPhone, apparently.
The US President has said in the past he wants Apple to build more products in the US. And now, in an interview with The Wall Street Journal, he's claimed that Apple CEO Tim Cook called him and promised to build “three big plants" in the US. The details about what kind of plants are pretty scarce, so we've contacted the Cupertino-based company for a comment and will update when we hear back.
Here's what President Trump told the WSJ, specifically:
"I spoke to [Mr. Cook], he's promised me three big plants - big, big, big," Mr. Trump said as part of a discussion about business-tax reform and business investment. "I said you know, Tim, unless you start building your plants in this country, I won't consider my administration an economic success. He called me, and he said they are going forward."
Keep in mind Apple has only made the last-generation Mac Pro in the US. And it has a history of working with international suppliers and outside companies. The iPhone is outsourced to Foxconn and Pegatron, which manufactures the phone at assembly plants across China and Brazil. On the back of every iPhone, you'll see the following engraved words: "Designed by Apple in California, Assembled in China".
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If Trump has his way, China could soon be replaced by America. Beyond assembly, however, Cook must be considering the supply chain. Apple has more than 750 suppliers - which employ some 1.6 million people - in over 20 countries. If Apple were to start making an all-American iPhone, it would not only need the infrastructure of assembly plants and component sourcing but also skilled workers.
It's unclear if moving to the US would dramatically affect the overall cost of the iPhone - or any Apple hardware for that matter. Nevertheless, on the campaign trail, Trump repeatedly asked Apple to build US plants: “I'm going to get Apple to start making their computers and their iPhones on our land, not in China,” he said last March. “How does it help us when they make it in China?”
We'll keep you posted as we learn more.