) CEO Tim Cook surprised the world when he announced that his
company would invest $100 million in American manufacturing.
, the domestic facility might produce the company's smallest and
least-popular desktop computer -- the Mac Mini. Foxconn will
reportedly handle the manufacturing duties in America. The
Taiwanese company, which already produces most of Apple's products
in China, has several operating bases in the United States.
In its report, DigiTimes said that shipments of the Mac Mini are
expected to reach 1.4 million units this year -- a 40 percent
increase on year. Shipments of the pint-sized device are expected
to rise another 30 percent in 2013, raising the number of units to
At almost two million units, Apple will have a lot for its
American employees to accomplish in 2013. However, that number
pales in comparison to the millions of MacBook Air and MacBook Pro
units that are produced, shipped and sold every year. During the
second quarter alone, Apple shipped
2.8 million MacBooks
In 2011, nearly one-third of the 14.5 million all-in-one desktop
sold by Apple
. This amounts to more than four million in annual sales for the
iMac. The brand-new iMac is expected to
quadruple Apple's sales
of desktop PCs.
Apple could have produced any one of these machines in the
United States. It could have expanded the number of iMac units that
already produced in America
, or send some of the MacBook Air production back home. It could
produce the iPad -- which contains a handful of domestic parts --
in America as well.
Instead it seems that Apple may take the easy way out by
shifting production for its least-popular PC. Compared to
of Apple TV and the iPod Nano, some may argue that the Mac Mini is
Apple's least successful product available.
By manufacturing the Mac Mini domestically, Apple is attempting
to appeal to consumers who want to buy American. However, if those
consumers want to actually use the device, they will need a mouse,
keyboard and a monitor, all of which are manufactured outside of
the United States. This will make the Mac Mini seem far less
American than the few all-in-one iMacs that are produced
Apple is not the first tech company that planned to build its
least-popular products in America. Google (NASDAQ:
) attempted to do the same when it announced the Nexus Q. This
orb-shaped media device was confusing, overpriced and was expected
to be available in limited quantities. The Nexus Q has now been
canceled. Meanwhile, Google's partners continue to manufacture the
company's most popular products -- the Nexus 4, Nexus 7 and Nexus
10 -- overseas.
(c) 2012 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice.
All rights reserved.
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