Apple will move production of one of its existing Mac lines to the US next year. In an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek, Apple CEO Tim Cook stated that Apple has "been working on this for a long time," and "it will happen 2013."
"Next year we are going to bring some production to the U.S. on the Mac. We’ve been working on this for a long time, and we were getting closer to it. It will happen in 2013. We’re really proud of it. We could have quickly maybe done just assembly, but it’s broader because we wanted to do something more substantial. So we’ll literally invest over $100 million. This doesn’t mean that Apple will do it ourselves, but we’ll be working with people, and we’ll be investing our money."
In a separate interview with NBC's Rock Center, Cook told interviewer Brian Williams that Apple can't move all of its manufacturing to the US: "it's not so much about price, it's about the skills." He explained that the US education system isn't geared to give people the skills needed for modern manufacturing processes, although he hopes the Mac project will help to change that. Cook says that Apple has a duty to create jobs. "I don't think we have a responsibility to create a certain kind of job, but I do think we do have a responsibility to create jobs." He also took the opportunity to remind us that the processors and glass found in iOS devices are already made in the US — they're produced by Samsung and Corning, respectively.
One of Apple's largest manufacturing partners, Foxconn, was recently rumored to be planning to expand into US manufacturing. Although Foxconn promptly denied the story, Cook's statement that Apple won't be manufacturing products itself makes those rumors all the more interesting. Apple isn't the only company looking to move its manufacturing to the US — Lenovo recently indicated it'll do the same with some ThinkPad models. NBC will broadcast the full Tim Cook interview tonight at 10pm EST.
Update: Foxconn has, despite its earlier denials, confirmed that it intends to expand its operations in North America.