Apple to bring Mac mini production to the U.S.

Mac mini (front, left angled)

Earlier this month, Tim Cook sat down with Rock Center’s Brian Williams for his first major TV interview since becoming Apple’s CEO. And among the many topics covered in the conversation, Cook spoke about Apple’s plans to bring manufacturing jobs back to the US.

Initial speculation suggested that Apple was going to start making Mac Pros in the States, because of the desktop’s pricing and sales volume. But according to a new report out of Taiwan, it will actually be the smaller Mac mini that will soon be shifted to US production…

DigiTimes (via MacRumors):

“Apple is reportedly set to move its Mac mini production lines back to the US with Foxconn Electronics (Hon Hai Precision Industry) to be responsible of handling establishment, according to sources from the upstream supply chain.”

The report goes on to say that Foxconn already has about 15 operating bases in the US, and the company plans on recruiting workers for 2013 for new automated production lines. We’ve also heard that it’s working with MIT on a large-scale curriculum for training US engineers.

It’s been said that Apple is going to make an initial investment of $100 million in the project, which, according to labor economist Dan Luria, would constitute a plant of about 200 people, producing 1 million units per year. That would be perfect for Apple’s low-selling Mac mini.

With unemployment rates in the US hovering around 8%, consumers and politicians alike have been calling for larger companies, especially Apple, to bring their manufacturing jobs back Stateside. And though this may not be the change folks were hoping for, it’s definitely a start.