Apple Touts New Mac Pro’s American Roots

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) CEO Tim Cook touted the American manufacturing process behind the newly available Mac Pro as part of the company’s $100 million made-in-the-USA promotion, reports Bloomberg. “We have begun manufacturing the Mac Pro in Austin,” tweeted Cook on Wednesday.  “It’s the most powerful Mac ever. Orders start tomorrow.”

As noted by Apple, the entire product will be assembled in the U.S. and several of its “high-precision components” will also be domestically machined. Companies located in over a dozen different states will help build the Mac Pro, including facilities in Texas, Florida, Illinois, and Kentucky.

As seen in the “Making the all-new Mac Pro” video below, the product is etched with the usual “Designed by Apple in California” mark, as well as a new “Assembled in the USA” mark. According to the Federal Trade Commission rules, “For the ‘assembly’ claim to be valid, the product’s last ‘substantial transformation’ also should have occurred in the U.S.” It should be noted that the Mac Pro facilities aren’t the only U.S.-based manufacturers that Apple uses. Apple has also invested in a plant in Mesa, Arizona that will produce sapphire, an extremely hard and scratch-resistant material used as a protective cover for the iPhone’s camera lens and Touch ID fingerprint scanner.

Although Apple is making the new Mac Pro in the U.S., the bulk of its manufacturing is still done overseas. According to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster via Bloomberg, the Mac Pro will likely account for less than 1 percent of Apple’s sales in calendar 2014. However, the “Assembled in the USA” label may help the California-based company deflect some of the criticism it has received over the years regarding its sometimes controversial use of low-cost Chinese labor. Apple joined the Fair Labor Association last year after several well-publicized suicides at factories run by Apple supplier Foxconn in 2010. According to the FLA’s latest report, the China-based manufacturer has recently made important improvements in its labor practices.

Interestingly, Foxconn — also known as Hon Hai Precision Industry — recently revealed its own plans to invest in American manufacturing. As previously reported by Bloomberg, Foxconn will spend $30 million over two years in order to build a high-tech manufacturing facility in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Apple first revealed its radically redesigned Mac Pro at the Worldwide Developers Conference earlier this year. The new Mac Pro features a sleek cylindrical design that is one-eighth the volume of the classic “cheese grater” design of the previous generation Mac Pro. According to Apple, the new design is based around a “unified thermal core” that allows the Mac Pro to more efficiently conduct heat away from the CPUs and GPUs.

The latest Mac Pro model is also more powerful than the previous generation model. According to Apple, the dual AMD (NYSE:AMD) FirePro GPUs deliver “up to eight times the graphics performance” seen in the previous models. The PCI Express flash storage is also capable of read speeds up to ten times faster than conventional desktop hard drives. The quad-core configuration starts at $2,999.00 and the 6-core configuration starts at $3,999.00.

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