Reports from various sources have revealed that some of Apple’s latest iMacs may have been assembled in the US. During one of their teardown, iFixit revealed markings on the back of an iMac stated, “Designed by Apple in California, Assembled in USA.”
9to4Mac has reported that iFixit is not the only outlet seeing these markings on Apple’s new iMacs. According to the report, “Regardless of previous endeavors, Apple is shipping new iMacs “Assembled in USA”. PED at Fortune found one. Jay Yarrow at BI found one too. This isn’t an isolated incident. We’ve also heard that other new iMacs say “Assembled in China” as you’d expect.”
This has obvious raised a few interesting questions. Is Apple really assembling iMacs in the United States? And if so, where is the plant located. It is also important to look at what does the word assemble means.
According to 9to5mac, the US Federal Trade Commission states that the label “Assembled in the USA” should be the following:[quote] A product that includes foreign components may be called “Assembled in USA” without qualification when its principal assembly takes place in the U.S. and the assembly is substantial. For the “assembly” claim to be valid, the product’s last “substantial transformation” also should have occurred in the U.S. That’s why a “screwdriver” assembly in the U.S. of foreign components into a final product at the end of the manufacturing process doesn’t usually qualify for the “Assembled in USA” claim.[/quote]
With regards to manufacturing of computers, the FTC states:[quote] All the major components of a computer, including the motherboard and hard drive, are imported. The computer’s components then are put together in a simple “screwdriver” operation in the U.S., are not substantially transformed under the Customs Standard, and must be marked with a foreign country of origin. An “Assembled in U.S.” claim without further qualification is deceptive.[/quote]