Foxconn To Expand North American Operations
December 9, 2012

Foxconn US Expansion Likely Linked To Apple’s American-Made Mac Initiative

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online

In the wake of reports Apple would begin manufacturing some of their Mac computers in the US starting in 2013, Foxconn Technology Group has announced plans to expand their North American operations.

“We are looking at doing more manufacturing in the U.S. because, in general, customers want more to be done there,” Louis Woo, a spokesman for the Taiwanese company responsible for making the iPad and the iPhone for their Cupertino, California-based partners, told Bloomberg Businessweek's Tim Culpan on Thursday.

"Supply chain is one of the big challenges for U.S. expansion," he added. "In addition, any manufacturing we take back to the U.S. needs to leverage high-value engineering talent there in comparison to the low-cost labor of China."

Woo declined to go into any further detail about Foxconn's plans, including which clients their US branch would be servicing, Culpan said. However, earlier this week, Apple CEO Tim Cook told reporters the company planned to spend more than $100 million over the next year to build Mac computers domestically.

Cook addressed the company's plans on the NBC News program "Rock Center" earlier this week, according to ZDNet. In that interview, the Apple CEO said the company had "a responsibility to create jobs" in America, adding, "when you back up and look at Apple's effect on job creation in the United States, we estimate that we've created more than 600,000 jobs now."

"The Taiwanese company, which has come under fire in recent years over labor rights issues, employs 1.6 million workers globally, and already has factories in California and Texas," explained PCMag writer Angela Moscaritolo. She added that "various groups" had accused Foxconn of "worker abuses," and that an Apple audit of the company's factories earlier this year "showed excessive overtime and unsafe working conditions." The manufacturer was said to be "taking steps to rectify the problems."

Prior to Foxconn's announcement, there had been some discussion that US-based production firms would begin handling some of the Mac production procedures. However, RBC Capital Markets analyst Amit Daryanani told AppleInsider's Neil Hughes that it was unlikely that Apple partners Flextronics International and Jabil Circuit would be involved, as the two firms were essentially moving out of the consumer electronics industry.