Apple returning to old stomping grounds for U.S.-made iMacs?

Apple's "Assembled in USA" iMacs could seem to be originating in California, according to 9to5Mac.

Some new iMacs, including the 21.5-inch iMac, are labeled as assembled in USA. Are they being made in Fremont, Calif.?
Some new iMacs, including the 21.5-inch iMac, are labeled as assembled in USA. Are they being made in Fremont, Calif.? Apple

Evidence suggests that Apple could be assembling some of the new iMacs in Fremont, Calif.

Two U.S. models that 9to5Mac traced originated in the San Jose area.

"One tipster's origination pickup point was briefly visible as Fremont CA so it would appear that iMac assembly is happening in that general vicinity," the Mac enthusiast site said.

Another possible location for an assembly operation would be Elk Grove, Calif., where Apple still has operations. But, so far, there's no hard evidence that units are being assembled there.

This follows images posted last week by iFixit showing "Designed by Apple in California, Assembled in USA" markings on the back of an iMac.

Fremont, of course, is where Apple made Macs back in the day and where Steve Jobs built a factory to manufacture the NeXT Computer.

But that was a long time ago in an era when companies like Compaq, IBM, Texas Instruments (yes, it used to make laptops) and Gateway assembled and/or manufactured PCs and PC components in the U.S.

So, Apple returning some of its assembly work to the U.S. would be an unexpected turn of events considering that pretty much anything computer related these days is made in Asia.

That said, Fremont has never been a stranger to large manufacturers. General Motors and Toyota jointly built cars there for years. That NUMMI factory was eventually taken over by Tesla Motors, which now builds its electric cars there.

Apple has yet to respond to a request for comment.

About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.


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