Apple Brings Some Manufacturing Jobs Back to US
When President Obama sat down for dinner with Silicon Valley's top executives in February 2011, he asked Steve Jobs what would it take to make iPhones in the U.S. According to reports, Jobs replied, "Those jobs aren’t coming back." So, while it looks like Jobs was right, at least for now, about the iPhones, it might be that some jobs do come back to the U.S. as Apple is shifting its assembly of some of the new, ultra-thin iMacs to the U.S.
The news came up after a new 21.5-inch iMac owner reported to Fortune that instead of the usual marking "Designed by Apple in California. Assembled in China," the iMac was marked "Designed by Apple in California. Assembled in the USA." It’s not clear yet why the company decided to take this step and what it means for Apple. The only thing we know for sure right now, is that some jobs did come back to the U.S.
Apple, as always, is very hush hush about this shift and refused to comment or provide information about it, leaving us only with guesstimations about why the company did it. Another interesting question is, if moving the assembly back to the U.S. actually makes these iMacs more sustainable.
Let's start with the sustainability question. From an environmental point of view, will this change reduce the carbon footprint of the iMac? Looking at Apple's life cycle assessment of the new iMac (and kudos to Apple for disclosing it), we can see that 52 percent of the carbon footprint comes from production, consumer use equals to 43 percent and the rest comes from transportation (2 percent) and recycling (3 percent).
iMac photo courtesy Apple.
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