When people talk about Apple’s Irish operations, it’s normally negatively, regarding questionable tax practices. But the company operates a 4,000-person factory in Cork, Ireland, that builds iMacs — and it’s the only Apple-owned manufacturing facility in the world.
The Irish Examiner recently got a peek inside the secretive Apple manufacturing plant in Cork. Check out some photos below.
Apple’s Hollyhill plant in Cork first opened its doors in November 1980, with Steve Jobs and chairman Mike Markkula among those who attended the opening. At the time, the manufacturing staff numbered just 60 people.
Today, Apple’s Irish operations have expanded to include sales and technology support, distribution, customer care and mapping.
In keeping with Apple’s focus on sustainability, the buildings in Cork are incredibly eco-friendly, with equipment for harvesting rain water as well as solar vacuums. It is reportedly one of Ireland’s most environmentally friendly offices.
So why has Apple opened the doors to one of its most secretive facilities? I’d suggest it has something to do with the European Commission’s current investigation into Apple’s tax affairs. Last June, a probe was launched to determine whether Ireland has improperly afforded Apple state aid in the form of lower corporate tax rates.
A few photos of people building Macs isn’t going to sway any such investigation. But emphasizing the fact that Apple has invested more than €100 million ($109 million) in Cork since 2009 certainly helps paint a different picture than the often-damning one of Apple as a greedy, tax-evading multinational that does nothing to benefit local people.
Source: Irish Examiner