Some iMacs labeled 'Assembled in USA,' teardown shows

Is Apple assembling some iMacs in the U.S.? That would be a departure from its custom of assembling virtually all products in Asia.

Some new iMacs, including the 21.5-inch iMac, are labeled as 'assembled in USA.'
Some new iMacs, including the 21.5-inch iMac, are labeled as 'assembled in USA.' Apple

Could Apple be assembling some new iMacs in the U.S.? A teardown of a new model introduced on Thursday shows an iMac with this marking.

A teardown by iFixit revealed markings on the back of an iMac that say, "Designed by Apple in California, Assembled in USA."

What isn't clear at this point is whether this is a new Apple policy to assemble new products in the U.S. or imprecise Apple labeling.

Refurbished products and some custom-ordered Apple products are modified in the U.S. -- but that's different than assembling a standard product at a factory.

9to5Mac believes that etching "assembled in USA" into the product's aluminum (see image below) indicates that this may be more than refurbished or custom-ordered units.

Indeed, it would be a departure from Apple's policy of making virtually all of its marquee products in Asia.

Apple has a long history of assembling products in the U.S. -- including assembly operations in California -- but that strategy ended many years ago when it off-shored assembly and manufacture of virtually all of its computer products to Asia.

The 'assembled in USA' marking on the back of an iMac that iFixit got
The 'assembled in USA' marking on the back of an iMac that iFixit got. iFixit

And this raises the question of, what does "assembled in USA" mean exactly? In an interview with CNET in October, Lenovo described its new assembly operations in North Carolina as follows:

Long conveyor belts, if you will, and kits moving from worker to worker with specific assembly tasks, starting with a basic chassis of the computer and plugging in the various components to the end of the line. Then there will be a testing station and then a boxing station. It's not unlike the assembly work that's done in China, though some of the facilities in China may do a little bit more work on subsystem assembly. It's the same model we use at our facility in Monterrey, Mexico, which supports North America, and the same model we use in Europe.

The "correct designation" under U.S law is "assembled in the U.S. with some foreign content," according to Lenovo.

Apple has yet to respond to a request for comment.

[Via 9to5Mac ]

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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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