iPhone is made in America, Tim Cook insists

By

Tim Cook says iPhone is an American product
Workers in Texas produce components for the iPhone X. Many parts for Apple's products are made in this country.
Photo: Apple

It clearly makes Tim Cook angry that people think the iPhone is made in China. “It’s not true that iPhone isn’t built in the United States,” Apple’s CEO said today.

The design work definitely happens in the United States. However, Cook points out that Apple suppliers produce many components in this country as well.

Apple’s vaunted supply chain consists of companies in many countries. It’s an oft-overlooked factor in Cupertino’s ability to crank out millions of high-end devices, year after year. Critics sometimes call for Apple to boost its U.S. manufacturing operations. But the fact is, your iPhone is mostly made in America already.

All told, Apple works with more than 9,000 U.S. suppliers. For instance, Corning makes the glass for the iPhone display in Kentucky, for example. Chip-makers fabricate Apple processors in America. And a plant in rural Texas that produces vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) for the iPhone X’s Face ID system opened with help from Apple’s $5 billion Advanced Manufacturing Fund.

Ultimately, Apple ships all the iPhone components, produced at various points around the world, to China. Final assembly happens there. And that’s what most people think of when they consider the iPhone’s country of origin.

In an interview today with MSNBC and Recode, Cook complained that “people fixate on” the Chinese connection, ignoring how many Americans his company employs.

Apple jobs made in America

Apple currently employs 84,000 people in all 50 states. And, it expects to create 20,000 new jobs in the next five years.

The company operates data centers in seven states, including North Carolina, Oregon, Nevada and Arizona. One in Iowa is under construction.

“We are patriots,” Cook said. “This is our country and we want to create as many jobs as we can in the U.S.”