John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Rumor Mill Adds Mac Mini to Apple’s “Made in USA” Plans

Mac_mini_handsWhen Apple CEO Tim Cook said earlier this month that the company was planning to invest $100 million to bring some Mac production back to the United States, some speculated that he was referring to the iMac or Mac Pro lines. And while that may still prove to be the case — indeed, already a few new 21.5-inch iMacs have shown up in the wild bearing “Assembled in USA” tags — a new report suggests the Mac mini may be the Mac line Apple plans to produce domestically.

Occasionally reliable Taiwanese trade mag DigiTimes claims Apple is planning to move Mac mini production to one of manufacturing partner Foxconn’s U.S. facilities. Here at AllThingsD, we’ve heard similar chatter — nothing that would serve as hard confirmation, but enough to lend credence to the idea that Apple has at least considered the idea.

And certainly the Mac mini is a likely candidate for Apple’s U.S. production plans. It has fewer parts than the Mac Pro and iMac, and few “build-to-order” options, making it a better candidate for automated production. It’s also a relatively high-volume product, making it a good choice given the high upfront cost of establishing those automated production lines.

The flip side here, of course, is that the Mac Pro is an equally likely candidate for opposite reasons. It’s a low-volume product with high margins and a lot of “build-to-order” options. It’s also bulky and expensive to ship. Those, too, make a compelling argument for stateside manufacture.

Apple declined comment on plans to manufacture the Mac mini in the U.S..

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There’s a lot of attention and PR around Marissa, but their product lineup just kind of blows.

— Om Malik on Bloomberg TV, talking about Yahoo, the September issue of Vogue Magazine, and our overdependence on Google