One of the hot button economic and political issues in the US right now is how do we bring back manufacturing jobs? The unemployment rate is extremely high right now, and a lot of folks are suggesting we try to get back the thousands of manufacturing positions that have been sent overseas.
Apple is frequently brought up in this conversation due to its size and visibility. The company now sells some 50 million iDevices each quarter, and they’re all made outside of the country. But that may not be the case much longer. According to a new report, Foxconn is looking to build plants in the US…
“Foxconn Electronics (Hon Hai Precision Industry) reportedly plans to establish manufacturing plants in the US and is currently conducting evaluations in cities such as Detroit and Los Angeles, according to market watchers. Since the manufacturing of Apple’s products is rather complicated, the market watchers expect the rumored plants to focus on LCD TV production, which can be highly automated and easier.”
Obviously, DigiTimes has a sketchy track record with tech rumors. But it quotes Foxconn’s CEO Terry Gou directly as saying the company is planning a training program for US-based workers.
“Meanwhile, Foxconn chairman Terry Guo, at a recent public event, noted that the company is planning a training program for US-based engineers, bringing them to Taiwan or China to take part in the processes of product design and manufacturing.”
The report explains that such a program would give engineers an environment to learn the Chinese language, first-hand experience in manufacturing, and other useful training. It even says that Foxconn is currently in discussions with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to help plan the curriculum.
It doesn’t sound like Apple products would be manufactured in these US plants initially, but it’s possible that Foxconn could move some of its iDevice production here in the future. It’s going to be tough though, as American laws are much tougher than they are in China regarding working terms and conditions.
What do you think, will we ever see an iPhone that says ‘Made in America’ on the back?