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Apple to expand manufacturing in America

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Apple CEO Tim Cook during a visit to the company’s facility in Austin, Texas, where the Mac Pro is assembled. Picture courtesy

Tech giant Apple looks to have decided to expand its manufacturing operations in the US. The company filed a notification in the Federal Register apparently to that effect. 

statement on the Federal Register website says that Apple already has authority to manufacture within the Mesa, Arizona region. “The new request would add finished products and foreign status materials and components to the scope of authority,” it says.

TechCrunch notes that the statement included a mention of Apple’s plan to build data centre server cabinets, which is not a consumer product Apple sells and, therefore, TechCrunch presumes, would be “used for building out its own data centers”. 

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The Apple Mac Pro. Picture courtesy

In an update to the story, TechCrunch confirmed with Apple that it has indeed applied for the renewal of its manufacturing licence with the Federal Register, but it does not intend to manufacture any products at the site.

“Rather its intention is for Mesa to become a global command hub for its data center operations — meaning the site will be used as the central location where it receives and configures servers, assembling them into racks, before distributing the units for use in its various data centers,” reports TechCrunch.

Apple already does some manufacturing in the US, assembling its Mac Pro desktop computer in Austin, Texas, which the company’s CEO, Tim Cook, has visited in the past (pictured).

Cook subsequently tweeted a picture of himself at the facility and said: “Watching the Mac Pro come together in Austin yesterday, thanks to a team loaded with American manufacturing expertise.”

The Austin facility which builds the Apple Mac Pro is run by a company called Flextronics, which recently signed a deal with Huawei to manufacture mobile phones in India.

Flextronics would start by making 3 million smart phones at its facility in Chennai and is expected to generate an additional 1,500 jobs.

Apple is currently in talks with the Indian government about manufacturing in the country.

Apple does most of its manufacturing in China, through Hon Hai Precision, better known as Foxconn, which makes the company’s iPhones and iPads.

Both Apple and Foxconn have come under pressure from President-elect Donald Trump to expand their manufacturing operations in the US.

Trump pledged to “bring back manufacturing jobs” to the US during his election campaign, and has been leaning on industry leaders like Cook to invest more in making things in the country.

Trump has apparently had some success with automakers, some of which have decided to halt some of the expansion plans overseas and turn to America instead.

Trump also had a high-profile meeting with leaders of the computer technology sector, which included Cook, with whom the Trump had already had a conversation in which he asked the Apple CEO to “build a big plant in the United States, or many big plants in the United States”.

It’s not clear whether Cook’s decision is the result of requests by the president-elect, but anyway Apple has big plans for expansion and job creation in the US.

As Mac Rumours reports, Apple decided in 2014 that it will invest $300 million to add at least 3,600 workers at the Austin site by 2021.

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